Payne Makes Plane

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team Head Coach Colin Bell has named a 20-player squad for the upcoming international friendly against Belgium.

Bristol City defender and Creagh, Roscommon native Heather Payne has been named as part of the squad.

Bell’s side are set for their first test of 2019 at the Pinatar Arena in Murcia, Spain against Belgium on Sunday, January 20 with kick-off at 3pm (2pm Irish time).

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Midfielder Megan Connolly returns to the squad after completing her college commitments at Florida State University and Birmingham City defender Harriet Scott also returns to the squad.

Midfielder Tyler Toland has recovered from an injury sustained in the 4-0 win over Northern Ireland in August to be called up.

West Ham United striker Leanne Kiernan has been ruled out of the squad through injury whilst Wexford Youths striker Rianna Jarrett has also been ruled out.

There are also call-ups for Women’s Under 17 players Rebecca Cooke and Emily Kraft after impressing in the November training camp.

“The first game of a new year always represents a great opportunity to build momentum in what is an important 12 months for the team,” said WNT Head Coach Colin Bell.

“We’re delighted to welcome back Megan Connolly after winning the National Championship”.

“We want to test ourselves against the very best teams ahead of the start of the 2021 European Championships qualifying in September to make sure we’re fully prepared to qualify for our first-ever major international tournament.”

Republic of Ireland WNT squad v Belgium

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Brighton and Hove Albion), Grace Moloney (Reading)

Defenders: Heather Payne (Bristol City), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool FC), Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Eabha O’Mahony (Cork City).

Midfielders: Tyler Toland (Kildrum Tigers), Megan Connolly (unattached), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Rebecca Cooke (Shelbourne).

Attackers: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne), Emily Kraft (FFC Frankfurt).

Fixture – International Friendly
Belgium v Republic of Ireland, Pinatar Arena, Murcia – 2pm (3pm Irish time)