Republic of Ireland are set for their first test of 2019 at the Pinatar Arena in Murcia, Spain against Belgium on Sunday 20th January (3pm local time) and Head Coach Colin Bell has named a 20-player squad.
Midfielder Megan Connolly returns to the squad after completing her college commitments at Florida State University and Birmingham City defender Harriet Scott also returns to the squad.
Midfielder Tyler Toland has recovered from an injury sustained in the 4-0 win over Northern Ireland in August to be called up. West Ham United striker Leanne Kiernan has been ruled out of the squad through injury whilst Wexford Youths striker Rianna Jarrett has also been ruled out.
There are also call-ups for U-17 players Rebecca Cooke and Emily Kraft after impressing in the November training camp.
“The first game of a new year always represents a great opportunity to build momentum in what is an important 12 months for the team,” Bell told fai.ie.
“We’re delighted to welcome back Megan Connolly after winning the National Championship with Florida State University and she’ll be a valuable asset for the team in the future.
“Harriet Scott and Tyler Toland also come back into the squad which is a big boost for the squad ahead of what should be a difficult test against an excellent Belgium team.
“I’ve also decided to name Emily Kraft and Rebecca Cooke in the squad who did really well in our November training camp and another week with the team should really benefit their development.
“We want to test ourselves against the very best teams ahead of the start of the 2021 European Championships qualifying in September to make sure we’re fully prepared to qualify for our first-ever major international tournament.”
Republic of Ireland squad v Belgium
Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Brighton & Hove Albion), Grace Moloney (Reading)
Defenders: Heather Payne (Bristol City), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Eabha O’Mahony (Cork City).
Midfielders: Tyler Toland (Kildrum Tigers), Megan Connolly (unattached), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Rebecca Cooke (Shelbourne).
Attackers: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne), Emily Kraft (FFC Frankfurt).