Luca Amedeo Bizzarri Niamh Farrelly.
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Day to remember for Irish international in Italy as just 10 of Pauw's current squad start
Niamh Farrelly scored her first goal for Parma – and it was a sublime effort.

IT WAS A day to remember for Niamh Farrelly in Italy.

The Republic of Ireland international scored her first goal for Parma in their crucial Serie A Women win over Sampdoria — and it was a sublime effort:

Farrelly fired home from distance in the 35th minute, as the 3-1 victory lifted Parma three points clear of the bottom.

“Three points, my first goal for the team and my first Italian interview,” the Dubliner wrote on Twitter afterwards.

Formerly Ireland U19 captain with four senior caps to her name, Farrelly has been impressing since making the move to Italy from Glasgow City last summer.

She will be disappointed to miss out on Vera Pauw’s most recent squad as competition for World Cup places heats up.

The likes of herself, Claire O’Riordan, Roma McLaughlin, Saoirse Noonan, Jessie Stapleton, Éabha O’Mahony, Emily Whelan and Aoibheann Clancy are among the outfield players who have regularly featured recently, not involved for this week’s 10-day training camp in Marbella, and friendlies against China PR and Germany (uncapped).

Pauw named a 26-strong squad on Friday, and as pointed out by Mary Hannigan of The Irish Times, just 10 of those started for their clubs over the weekend.

Five did so in the Championship meeting of Birmingham City and London City Lionesses. Hayley Nolan made her 50th appearance for London City and played the full game alongside the in-form Lily Agg, as the Lionesses enjoyed a 1-0 win on the road.

New signing Kyra Carusa was introduced as a second-half substitute, as the trio locked horns with international team-mates Louise QuinnHarriet Scott, Jamie Finn and Lucy Quinn, the latter also coming off the bench at St Andrew’s.

Megan Connolly, Megan Campbell, Naoisha McAloon, Claire Walsh and Ciara Grant were the other starters, with several more held in reserve at their respective clubs and the fixture schedule simply denying others game time this weekend.

Katie McCabe was again left out of the Arsenal XI as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Women’s Super League yesterday.

The Republic of Ireland captain has had an eventful few weeks, linked with a big-money move to Chelsea and absent from the Gunner’s starting team for three successive leave games. Pauw, on Friday, said she wasn’t concerned about the skipper’s lack of game time.

“Katie had a chest infection. There is no concern about it. Coaches make choices and we have to accept that. There are more players with bench minutes, we have no concern about it.”

Connolly’s Brighton & Hove Albion fell to a dismal 6-2 defeat to Aston Villa on home soil. The Cork native played the full game, clubmate Megan Walsh was dislodged in goal with new Australian signing Lydia Williams getting the nod, and the returning Ruesha Littlejohn came on for Villa after the 70-minute mark.

Campbell also went the distance as Liverpool were beaten 1-0 by basement side Leicester on home soil. Niamh Fahey and Leanne Kiernan are both out injured.

Manchester United moved back top of the table with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham. New addition Aoife Mannion was an unused substitute for the Red Devils at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

Back in the Championship, McAloon was between the posts for Durham’s 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace. Saoirse Noonan played just over 70 minutes. Emily Kraft featured in Lewes’ 2-0 win at Bristol City, Chloe Mustaki absent for the hosts through injury.

Walsh (Glasgow City) and Grant (Hearts) both started in their respective Scottish Cup games, helping their sides to victory and the latter on the scoresheet.

And on the continent, the exiled Tyler Toland was a second-half substitute in Levante’s 5-0 trashing of Levante Las Planas. The result keeps them third in La Liga behind Real Madrid and leaders Barcelona.

Of the remaining current squad members, Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney, Diane Caldwell (both Reading), Isibeal Atkinson (West Ham), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Amber Barrett (Potsdam Turbine), Heather Payne (Florida State University) and Melissa Sheva (Washington Spirit) didn’t have games this weekend.

Shamrock Rovers pair Áine O’Gorman and Abbie Larkin aren’t in competitive action as they await the start of the 2023 SSE Airtricity Premier Women’s Division season. But Larkin started and O’Gorman was named on the bench for a pre-season friendly against Cliftonville in Belfast today. 

(Only current squad members named in bold.)

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