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Man City star returns to Ireland international duty after 16-month ACL injury nightmare

Campbell has not played for Ireland since rupturing her ACL during a Champions League game for Man City.

Megan Campbell won the FA Cup with Manchester City in 2017.
Megan Campbell won the FA Cup with Manchester City in 2017.
Image: EMPICS Sport

IRELAND DEFENDER MEGAN Campbell has returned to international duty having endured a nightmarish 16 month-long injury absence.

The Drogheda native missed eight months of action with a serious ankle injury suffered in 2016, after which she returned to win the FA Cup with City and play a crucial role in Ireland’s opening World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland in September 2017.

Two months later, however, the 25-year-old tore her ACL in a Champions League tie in Norway and hasn’t played since, missing most of Ireland’s ultimately unsuccessful qualifying campaign along with City’s run to the Champions League semi-finals.

Megan Campbell celebrates scoring her sides second goal Campbell celebrates scoring against Northern Ireland in September 2017. Source: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

On Friday she was named in Colin Bell’s 20-player squad for Ireland’s international friendlies against Wales, as preparations for the upcoming 2021 European Championship qualifying campaign continues.

“I’m delighted to see Megan Campbell return to the squad,” said Ireland manager Bell. “Megan is a crucial player for us and she’s had to show real resilience to get through her injury and it’s great to have her back involved for the two games.”

Yesterday Ireland were drawn into Group I alongside Germany, Ukraine, Greece and Montenegro. Bell’s side will face Montenegro first on Tuesday 3 September, before taking on Ukraine in Dublin on 8 October.

Campbell, who won the Women’s Super League with Man City in 2016 and the FA Cup a year later, returned to training with the Blues last month and started their 3-1 defeat of Everton on Wednesday evening.

Colin Bell Ireland manager Colin Bell. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Women’s National Team travel to Marbella, Spain on Tuesday for two international friendlies against Wales on Thursday 28 February and Tuesday 5 March.

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“It’s going to be an important week and after finding out our opponents for the qualifying campaign, it definitely adds an extra importance on the two games,” said Bell.

“Wales are an excellent opponent for us to face, they were second seeds in the draw, and they’re exactly the type of opposition we will need to beat in qualifying if we’re going to make our first international tournament.”

Ireland WNT squad v Wales

Goalkeeepers: Marie Hourihan (Brighton & Hove Albion), Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (Le Harve)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Heather Payne (Bristol City), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisberg), Megan Campbell (Manchester City), Eabha O’Mahony (Cork City)

Midfielders: Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Tyler Toland (Kildrum Tigers), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne)

Forwards: Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal)

Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey look ahead to Ireland’s Six Nations meeting with Italy and discuss the week’s biggest stories in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Aaron Gallagher

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