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Defensive duo drafted into Pauw's Ireland squad as Liverpool's Campbell forced out

Claire O’Riordan and Éabha O’Mahony get the nod ahead of next Tuesday’s trip to Sweden.

Vera Pauw speaking to her Ireland squad.
Vera Pauw speaking to her Ireland squad.
Image: Martin Seras Lima/INPHO

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Vera Pauw has been forced into further defensive changes ahead of next week’s massive World Cup qualifier against Sweden in Gothenburg.

With Savannah McCarthy and Diane Caldwell previously ruled out through injury, the crisis deepens with Megan Campbell today joining the list of absentees.

The injury-plagued Liverpool star, who helped the Reds to Championship success and promotion to the Women’s Super League on Sunday, ”has remained at her club to receive treatment for a knock and will be assessed over the coming days,” an FAI statement reads.

Campbell’s 30-month hiatius from the XI now continues; her long-awaited comeback once again put on ice after the Drogheda native’s load was managed at the recent Pinatar Cup.

Germany-based Claire O’Riordan and 19-year-old Eabha O’Mahony, who is currently on scholarship in the US, have been drafted in as a result of the latest setback.

“O’Mahony (Boston College) and O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg) were on standby for the squad but have now been called in as defensive cover as preparations begin in the FAI National Training Centre on Tuesday afternoon,” the statement adds.

Cork native O’Mahony has three caps to date, while O’Riordan of Limerick holds 17.

The 27-year-old, who has experienced her own injury troubles of late, will certainly be in the running for the void left by McCarthy/Caldwell on the left of the back three, while Claire Walsh of Glasgow City is another viable option should they stick with the same tried-and-trusted formation.

Pauw’s squad reconvened for camp at the Castleknock Hotel this morning, and train in Abbotstown this evening. 

They fly to Gothenburg by charter on Saturday, ahead of Tuesday evening’s clash at Gamla Ullevi [KO 5.30pm Irish time, live on RTÉ 2 and RTÉ Player worldwide].

A massive test lies ahead against Group A’s runaway leaders Sweden, who are currently second in Fifa’s world rankings and the top-ranked team in Europe. Ireland have moved up to 30th, and sit second in the group with seven points from four games as they target a play-off spot.

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The Swedes were 1-0 winners when the sides met at Tallaght Stadium earlier in the campaign, though Ireland will take a lot from that performance and recent progress.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team Squad

Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading), Megan Walsh (Brighton & Hove Albion), Eve Badana (DLR Waves)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Claire Walsh (Glasgow City), Chloe Mustaki (Shelbourne), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Éabha O’Mahony (Boston College), Megan Campbell (Liverpool), Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United)

Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Ciara Grant (Rangers), Jess Ziu (Shelbourne), Lily Agg (London City Lionesses), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City), Isibeal Atkinson (Celtic)

Forwards: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Leanne Kiernan (Liverpool), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Abbie Larkin (Shelbourne). 

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Emma Duffy

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