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Three new faces as Ireland name squad for crucial World Cup qualifier

Colin Bell’s side face Northern Ireland next month.

Ireland manager Colin Bell has named his squad.
Ireland manager Colin Bell has named his squad.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

IRELAND MANAGER COLIN Bell has included three uncapped players in his squad for the opening game of the 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign against Northern Ireland next month.

UCD Waves defender Claire Walsh, Maiden City’s Tyler Toland and Amber Barrett of Peamount United are named in the women’s national team panel for the first time ahead of the Group 3 fixture in Lurgan on Tuesday 19 September.

Also included in the 20-player squad is striker Stephanie Roche, who has fully recovered from the hamstring injury which kept her out of the friendlies against Iceland and Scotland during the summer.

Following the retirement of Emma Byrne, the side will be captained by Katie McCabe for the first time with nine of the squad currently plying their trade in the domestic Continental Tyres Women’s National League.

“Firstly, I want to congratulate Claire Walsh, Amber Barrett and Tyler Toland on their first call-up to the senior squad,” Bell said.

“It is a huge moment in any player’s career and they should be immensely proud. Claire and Amber have been in great form for their respective clubs this season and rightly take their place in the squad, where I expect them to challenge for a starting spot.

“Tyler is an exceptional young talent who I was able to watch closely during the Women’s Under 17 European Championships in May. She is a player I believe who would benefit from being around the senior squad as we look to progress the young talent we have in Ireland.

“It’s great to Stephanie Roche back and fit for selection ahead of a crucial game. It’s imperative we start the campaign on a positive note and I’m really looking to getting the squad in on Wednesday 13 September.”

After next month’s clash with Northern Ireland, Bell’s side then travel to Slovakia on 24 October and Netherlands on 28 November.

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The top team from each qualifying group is automatically assured of a place at the World Cup in France while the four best runners-up contest the playoffs.

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Manchester City), Amanda Budden (Cork City WFC), Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne Ladies).

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Reading WFC), Megan Campbell (Manchester City), Sophie Perry (Brighton and Hove Albion), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Claire Walsh (UCD Waves).

Midfielders: Niamh Fahey (Bordeaux), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Stephanie Roche (Sunderland), Roma McLaughlin (Shelbourne Ladies), Tyler Toland (Maiden City).

Forwards: Katie McCabe (Glasgow City), Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne Ladies), Heather Payne (Peamount United), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Aine O’Gorman (UCD Waves).

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