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'It has to be done at the right time' - Aviva fixture an aim for Ireland women's team

Republic of Ireland defender Louise Quinn outlined her aspirations on Episode Two of The Football Family.

UNDER THE GUIDANCE of temporary manager Tom O’Connor, the Republic of Ireland senior women’s squad flew out to California yesterday ahead of Saturday’s friendly against the USA.

Facing the might of the world champions in the Rose Bowl will be a tall order, particularly on the back of Colin Bell’s recent departure as head coach. However, the game also presents the Irish team with a big opportunity to test themselves against the best. 

Nevertheless, there’s an even more important assignment on the horizon for the players. On 3 September, they’ll begin their bid to qualify for the 2021 European Championships by welcoming Montenegro to Dublin.

Louise Quinn celebrates Republic of Ireland international defender Louise Quinn. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Although the campaign will start at Tallaght Stadium, the possibility of ending it at the Aviva Stadium is something Ireland international Louise Quinn addressed during her appearance as the guest on Episode Two of a new podcast brought to you by The42.

Having never previously reached a major tournament, Ireland will hope that they’re still in with a shout of rectifying that by the time they play Germany in their final qualification fixture in Dublin in September 2020.

Quinn, who was part of RTÉ’s panel of pundits for this summer’s World Cup, believes the tournament has increased the momentum behind the growth in popularity of the women’s game. That’s something the Arsenal defender is determined to capitalise on.

While the 29-year-old Wicklow native admitted to being enthusiastic about the prospect of playing a senior women’s international fixture at the Lansdowne Road venue, she was simultaneously keen to point out that the onus is on the team to produce the results to warrant such an occasion. 

“That’s definitely something we’re aiming for, but it has to be done at the right time,” she said on The Football Family, a collection of in-depth conversations with a wide range of Irish football personalities. Access to the podcast is one of the many exclusive benefits available to our membership. Details of how you can become a member for just €5 per month — or €42 for an entire year — are available here

“If we’ve had a good [qualifying] campaign and there is something there that we can really fight for, then I think it’s only right that it’s put in the Aviva. But I feel like we need to make sure that we’re performing and picking up points along the whole way.

“I just think the fact that all the World Cup games were free to view on Irish television will change that massively. We’re one of the only countries that showed every single game.”

Quinn lent her expertise to RTÉ’s television coverage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, which concluded earlier this month with a successful title defence for USA, who were 2-0 winners against the Netherlands in the decider. For the first time — courtesy of a joint effort from RTÉ and TG4 — all 52 games at the tournament were broadcast live in Ireland. 

She added: “I think what we’ve done, and what RTÉ and TG4 have done, is incredible. And they’re doing that to kind of back us up and to back women’s football up.

“They’re going to show all of our games as well — at least the home ones anyway — on RTÉ. I think they’ve backed us up so we’ve got to back ourselves now. We’ve got to not let this good and massive opportunity go to waste.”

Source: The42 Podcasts/SoundCloud

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Paul Dollery

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