Republic of Ireland travel to face Germany in Essen on 19 September in a crucial UEFA Women’s EURO qualifying group clash
Ireland lead Group I on 13 points after five games played but Germany are just a single point behind with a game in hand ahead of the first of two meetings between the teams.
Head coach Vera Pauw told fai.ie : “It is great to be back preparing for international games again and to continue our goal of qualifying for the European Championships. We will travel to Germany knowing that we will face a difficult opponent, but that is part of competing at this level.
“Germany are one of the best teams in world football and we’ve seen their club teams, particularly Wolfsburg, perform so well in the UEFA Women’s Champions League of late. So we know what to expect and we have to be ready to play our best game.”
There are first call-ups for midfielders Alli Murphy and Ellen Molloy, while Isibeal Atkinson is rewarded for her excellent start to the Women’s National League season with Shelbourne.
US-born Murphy, who qualifies through her grandparents, recently joined London City Lionesses and receives a first selection for any Ireland squad.
Molloy is promoted from the U-17s following a number of stand-out performances for James Scott’s team, as well as an impressive breakthrough at club level with Wexford Youths.
The Ireland squad, which will be cut down to 23 players, will meet in Germany 14 September to begin preparations for the game in Essen.
After the Germany game, Ireland will have two more group fixtures to complete, with Ukraine away on 23 October and Germany at home on 1 December.
The nine group winners and the three best runners-up (not counting results against the sixth-placed team) qualify directly for the final tournament, while the remaining six runners-up advance to the play-offs.
Republic of Ireland Squad
Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United), Niamh Reid Burke (Peamount United)
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne)
Midfielders: Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Alli Murphy (London City Lionesses), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Hayley Nolan (London City Lionesses), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Ruesha Littlejohn (Leicester City), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Stephanie Roche (Peamount United)
Forwards: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion), Julie-Ann Russell (Sydney University), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge)