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Player of the year Scott back to boost Ireland for crucial World Cup qualifiers

Colin Bell has named his squad for next week’s double-header against Norway.

Harriet Scott is back for Ireland after injury.
Harriet Scott is back for Ireland after injury.
Image: David Price

IRELAND HAVE BEEN boosted by the return to fitness of key defender Harriet Scott for next week’s crucial World Cup qualifier double-header against Norway, while Tyler Toland also returns to the squad.

Reading full-back Scott, who was named FAI player of the year last season, has recovered from the broken collarbone which kept her out of the games against Slovakia and Netherlands in April, while midfielder Toland has recovered from a hand injury.

There is also a recall for 23-year-old striker Rianna Jarrett for the round six and seven fixtures, more than two years after her last senior appearance with her return offsetting the loss of Celtic’s Ruesha Littlejohn through injury.

Megan Campbell and Stephanie Roche both remain long-term absentees while Roma McLaughlin is sidelined with a leg problem and Heather Payne, Amy Boyle-Carr and Saoirse Noonan are all unavailable due to exams.

“We’re delighted to see Harriet return to the squad,” manager Colin Bell said.

“She picked up another injury during her comeback from the collarbone but we’re monitoring her closely and we hope she’ll be fit for both games.

“We’re also closely monitoring Niamh Fahey who has also picked up an injury whilst with her club Bordeaux.

“I’d like to congratulate Rianna Jarrett who returns to the squad. To comeback from three ACL injuries requires a huge amount of hard work, commitment and desire, and she should be incredibly proud of her efforts so far.

Rianna Jarrett with Kylie Bordeleau Rianna Jarrett has earned a recall for her impressive domestic form. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“She’s been in great form this season for Wexford Youths and I really feel that if she can continue to work hard and keep getting fitter and stronger with every game, she could be an important player for us in the future.”

Ireland go into next Friday’s clash with Norway at Tallaght Stadium sitting second in Group C with three games remaining after suffering a damaging 2-0 home loss to Netherlands last time out.

Bell’s side are currently one point ahead of Norway but their back-to-back opponents have a game in hand, making this a crucial period for Ireland’s chances of qualifying for a first major tournament.

“These are two crucial games against Norway, the top seeds in the group, and we’ll have to be at our very best to get the results we need,” Bell added.

“The players have been excellent so far this campaign but we need two big performances both at Tallaght Stadium and in Norway.”

Ireland face Norway at Tallaght Stadium at 5.30pm on Friday 8 June (tickets available here) and in Stavanger on Tuesday 12 June at 6pm Irish time.

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

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Reading), Sophie Perry (Brighton and Hove Albion), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Claire O’Riordan (Wexford Youths), Aislinn Meaney (Galway WFC)

Midfielders: Megan Connolly (Florida State University), Tyler Toland (Maiden City), Niamh Fahey (Bordeaux), Karen Duggan (Peamount United), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United).

Attackers: Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne Ladies), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne Ladies), Zara Foley (Lakewood AFC), Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United).

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