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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018

The 21-player Ireland squad that will face the reigning European champions

Amanda Budden is one of the players included to take on the Netherlands, after missing the Slovakia trip due to college commitments.

Amanda Budden (file pic).
Amanda Budden (file pic).
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

THE IRELAND WOMEN’S squad has just one change from the group that travelled to face Slovakia last month.

Amanda Budden replaces fellow Cork City WFC goalkeeper Eve Badana, with manager Colin Bell naming a 21-player squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands.

The squad also includes 10 Continental Tyres Women’s National League players, who have been training at FAI HQ in Abbotstown in a series of home-based sessions with a selection of U17 and U19 internationals following the culmination of the Women’s National League season earlier this month.

Bell’s side have enjoyed an encouraging start to qualification, picking up 2-0 wins over Northern Ireland and Slovakia.

The Irish team will faced their stiffest test yet though, as they travel to De Goffert in Nijmegen for the clash on 28 November.

The Dutch side are the reigning European champions, beating Denmark 4-2 in the final in Enschede last August.

They are also unbeaten in their World Cup qualification campaign so far, having picked up a 1-0 win over Norway back in October.

“When the draw was made, the game against the Netherlands was always one which is going to excite the players and the staff,” Bell said.

Since the draw, they won the European Championships in the summer and also beat the top seeds Norway in their first qualifying game, so we know we’re set to face one of the best teams in the world at the moment.

“However, we’ve demonstrated in our first two games of the campaign how good we are and we need to carry that confidence into the game. We’ve kept two clean sheets, both away from home, and we’ll need to show those same qualities in the Netherlands to get a result.

“The players will report in on Monday so we can take advantage of the full international window and have the best preparation ahead of what will be one of the most difficult tests of our campaign.”

Republic of Ireland WNT squad to face Netherlands

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

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

Midfielders: Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Niamh Fahey (Bordeaux), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Denise O’Sullivan (NC Courage), Roma McLaughlin (Shelbourne).

Attackers: Katie McCabe (Arsenal, on loan at Glasgow City), Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne), Heather Payne (Peamount United), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Claire O’Riordan (Wexford Youths), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne), Ruesha Littlejohn (Celtic).

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