After making it through the First Phase of qualifying, Ireland were drawn into Group 1 where they will meet Germany (Tuesday, April 5), Azerbaijan (Thursday, April 7), and Poland (Sunday, April 10).
The three Ireland games will be hosted at Tallaght Stadium and Connell is hoping that a big crowd turns out in support of the girls as they set about securing passage through to this summer’s finals in Slovakia.
“I think that home advantage could help us as we will be playing in familiar surroundings, but it’s up to us to make it work for us on the pitch by doing everything that we can to win each game,” said Connell.
“We would like to encourage people to come out to support the girls. Each of the players have done brilliantly in our games to date and they are fully focused on these next three games, which are huge for us.
“The girls have adopted a really positive attitude since the first time that we got together and I can see a lot of the same characteristics in them that was evident in the 2014 squad that went all the way to the European semi-finals.”
Connell is aiming to guide a third different team to a European Championships in as many years following on from the U-19 side that went to Norway in 2014 and the U17 side that went to Iceland last year.
The experienced coach has been able to call on recent Glasgow City signing Savannah McCarthy, reigning U-19 Player of the Year Amanda McQuillan, and three players based in the United States in Niamh Nelson, Hayley Nolan, and Jessica Gargan.
Republic of Ireland U-19 squad
Goalkeepers: Brooke Dunne (Peamount United), Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne Ladies)
Defenders: Lucy McCartan (Peamount United), Niamh Nelson (San Diego Surf), Savannah McCarthy (Glasgow City), Keeva Keenan (Shelbourne Ladies), Chloe Moloney (Galway WFC), Niamh Prior (UCD Waves)
Midfielders: Roma McLaughlin (Peamount United), Jamie Finn, Sophie Watters, Megan Lynch (Shelbourne Ladies), Evelyn Daly (Cork City WFC), Hayley Nolan (Hartford Hawks), Jessica Gargan (Quinnipiac Bobcats)
Forwards: Jessica Nolan (Galway WFC), Dearbhaile Beirne (Shelbourne Ladies), Rachel Kearns (Castlebar Celtic)
Republic of Ireland v Germany, Tuesday, April 5, Tallaght Stadium, KO 19:30
Republic of Ireland v Azerbaijan, Thursday, April 7, Tallaght Stadium, KO 19:30
Republic of Ireland v Poland, Sunday, April 10, Tallaght Stadium, KO 14:00
Source / photo – fai.ie
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