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5 players to watch in Sunday's WFAI Cup final

The latest chapter of Shelbourne v Wexford Youths promises to be an exciting affair.

A MOUTH-WATERING REPEAT of last year’s final awaits this Sunday in the Aviva.

Two sides that are no strangers to each other over the past few years will battle it out for one of the most sought-after prizes in Irish women’s soccer.

Both teams have a nice blend of experience and youth, with several talents expected to stand up on the day.

Here are five players who should have a huge impact on the game:

Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne)

One of Irish women’s soccer’s latest rising stars, Kiernan has been making waves for both her club and country in recent times. The pacy striker made her Ireland U19 competitive debut one to remember with four goals and three assists.

Probably the brightest talent in Irish football right now, the Cavan teenager has also been in impressive form with Shels, scoring on almost every occasion she dons the red jersey.

Leanne Kiernan Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Emma Hansberry (Wexford Youths)

Her style of play is often compared to that of Xabi Alonso — picking long and accurate through-balls from the centre of midfield. A true reader of the game, the former Castlebar player has been involved with the Wexford set-up since August 2015.

Hansberry is also known to find the back of the net when needed so her performance in midfield will be crucial if Youths are to retain their title

Emma Hansberry Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Siobhan Killeen (Shelbourne)

Killeen opened Shelboune’s scoring in last year’s cup final with a spectacular curled finish.

goal Source: RTÉ Player

This year’s final will be no exception for the 23-year-old and her cool finishing. Not only is the midfielder renowned for her scoring, her notorious pace down the flanks and skillful crossing will pose as a huge threat to Wexford Youths on Sunday.

Her experience will also stand to her, having represented Ireland at both underage and senior level.

Siobhan Killeen and Ruth Fahy Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Claire O’Riordan (Wexford Youths)

O’Riordan’s eye for goal is something Gary Hunt will more than likely base his gameplan on for Sunday’s affair.

Claire O'Riordan with Susan Hackett Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

O’Riordan has been on form for Youths in the WNL so far this season, scoring four times against Kilkenny and twice against Galway, cementing her as one of Wexford’s standout players of the season so far.

Noelle Murray (Shelbourne)

The last time the sides met in the WNL in September, Murray made no mistake in finding the back of the net with a penalty and helping her side to a 2-0 win.

Murray normally controls play from the middle of the field, holding the ball up and picking out passes while also working tirelessly in defence. Her contribution will be vital on Sunday if Shelbourne are to take the title off Youths.

Noelle Murray Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Other notable mentions: Ciara Rossiter (Wexford Youths), Pearl Slattery (Shelbourne)

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Emma Duffy

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