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'It feels like I'm finally home' - Lucy Quinn loving life in the Ireland squad

The Birmingham City striker made her international debut last month.

Ireland's Lucy Quinn.
Ireland's Lucy Quinn.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

LUCY QUINN SAYS her first month with the Ireland squad has felt “like a dream come true” following a long, complicated process to receive her international clearance.

Quinn qualifies for Ireland through her grandparents — and became the latest new face introduced through manager Vera Pauw’s approach in searching out Irish-eligible players overseas when she made her debut against Australia last month. 

However Quinn has been made wait to play for the Girls in Green, taking the first steps to secure her clearance five years ago.

“It’s been years in the making,” Quinn says.

“Honestly, about five years ago I decided that if Ireland wanted me, I definitely wanted to play. It’s been a big part of me growing up and something I always wanted to do.

“But yeah, there was a lot of difficulties with finding grandparents records and certificates and then obviously we’ve had Brexit since then, which delayed a lot, and then a global pandemic which didn’t make things any easier with people not being in the office, so it’s been a long time coming. So to be able to finally put the shirt on was really exciting.”

Having finally got the green light to represent Ireland, Quinn – who plays her club football for Birmingham City – was fast-tracked into the team, chipping in with a goal in the 3-2 win over Australia.

“I was really excited to even be called into my first camp last time round. I didn’t necessarily expect to play. I didn’t even have my passport for the first game, so that was a massive surprise.

Now that I’ve played two games it’s honestly like a dream come true, but it also kind of feels like I’ve been here a while. The girls have been great and the staff have been really welcoming as well. I’ve just loved it, and it feels like I’m finally home in a way.

‘To find out that I was starting (against Australia) and then to score a goal, or contribute with an own goal, about four minutes in, so early on, it didn’t feel like it was real at the time really.” 

Quinn, who was born in Southampton, also explained how the process of applying for eligibility helped her learn more about her family roots in Ireland, which trace back to Cavan and Sligo. 

“It’s madness really. I thought that I knew a lot about my grandparents but I learned a lot more going through the process of trying to find out information about them. With certain relatives, there were some things on the birth certificate that we couldn’t even necessarily read.

“It’s just been a massive journey and something I really wanted to embrace. I wanted to learn a lot about my family history and where I had come from. It’s just been great on and off the pitch for me.”

Ireland have been focusing on the positives following last Thursday’s defeat to Sweden, with Pauw’s squad delivering a hugely encouraging performance despite falling to a 1-0 defeat against a star-studded Sweden team.

“The performance is what you want first and foremost,” Quinn continues.

lucy-quinn-signs-autographs-after-the-game Quinn signs autographs following last week's game against Sweden. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“You can’t get results without the performance, but as you know, football is difficult and you don’t always get the results even when you do put in a performance.

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“Obviously there are massive positives to take. I think we could have got something more out of the game but that’s the way it is, isn’t it? It’s a massive step forward and hopefully a huge confidence boost for the squad.”

Next up for Ireland is a trip to play Finland – who have picked up two wins in their opening two games – in Helsinki tomorrow, where Pauw’s squad will look to get their World Cup qualification campaign up and running. 

“I think the game against Sweden has only made us more hungry to go out and get three points in the next game.

“It’s my first time travelling with the squad and obviously it’s a massive occasion. I think everybody is really up for it and personally I don’t want to come away from that game empty handed at all.”  

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