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First Ireland call-up for 16-year-old Stapleton as injury forces Molloy out

Vera Pauw’s side are preparing for two important World Cup qualifiers.

Jessie Stapleton of Shelbourne.
Jessie Stapleton of Shelbourne.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

INJURIES HAVE REQUIRED Ireland manager Vera Pauw to make three amendments to her squad for the 2023 Women’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Georgia.

Glasgow City’s Claire Walsh, Leanne Kiernan of Liverpool and Ellen Molloy – who played a starring role for Wexford Youths in yesterday’s FAI Cup final triumph against Shelbourne – have all been forced to withdraw from the Tallaght Stadium double-header.

Pauw has instead drafted in Celtic’s Isibeal Atkinson, Emily Whelan of Birmingham City and Shelbourne teenager Jessie Stapleton, who earns her first senior call-up after an impressive debut season in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League.

The versatile 16-year-old featured for her club in yesterday’s 3-1 loss to Wexford, as Shels fell short in their bid to complete the league-and-cup double.

Stapleton, who can operate in defence and midfield, was named WNL Player of the Month for October. Colin Bell, Pauw’s predecessor, included her in an Ireland senior training camp when she was just 13. 

The Ireland squad will train this afternoon in Abbotstown ahead of Thursday’s game against Slovakia. Pauw’s side, who’ll be aiming to build on their hugely encouraging win away to Finland last month, are then set to take on Georgia tomorrow week.

Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading)

Defenders: Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Jessie Stapleton (Shelbourne), Savannah McCarthy (Galway WFC), Éabha O’Mahony (Boston College), Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United)

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Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Niamh Farrelly (Glasgow City), Ciara Grant (Shelbourne), Aoibheann Clancy (Wexford Youths), Roma McLaughlin (Central Connecticut State University)

Forwards: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Kyra Carusa (HB Koge), Emily Whelan (Birmingham City) Isibeal Atkinson (Celtic), Saoirse Noonan (Shelbourne), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City)

About the author:

Paul Dollery

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