Ronan Ready For ‘Emotional’ Final Game

Ireland face the Basque Country in an international friendly at the Tallaght Stadium on Saturday, November 26th, with kick-off at 3.30pm.

It is set to be Ronan’s final game in charge as she steps down to fully focus on her role as Head of Women’s Football at the Football Association of Ireland.

The FAI report that Ronan has led the team for six years and she admits it will be an ’emotional’ final camp for her as she looks to end her tenure on a high.

Ronan said: “It will be emotional. It’s been six years for me in the role as Head Coach of the Women’s National Team and it’s been a huge honour for me.

“To lead your country as manager is a privilege and it’s been a great time. I couldn’t have asked for anymore at any point during those six years.

“The players have been fantastic throughout my time in charge and even though some results didn’t go the way we wanted, I really believe plenty of progress has been made.

“There is a huge amount of talent coming through the under-age teams at the moment and I’m sure that these players will see us qualify for an international tournament in the years to come.”

The squad includes 13 home-based players from the WNL and it also sees the return of Stephanie Roche who missed the Portugal camp through illness.

Ronan admitted she was looking for a good blend of youth and experience in her final camp as manager and delighted to see Roche return.

She continued: “It was a great Women’s Senior Cup final and it really showed the quality on show in this country.

“I’ve called up a number of players from Shelbourne including Leanne Kiernan who scored a great hat-trick on the day and the likes of Amanda McQuillan, Noelle Murray and Alex Kavanagh.

“Stephanie has been a big player for us over the years and we missed her for the Portugal game, likewise Denise O’Sullivan, so I’m delighted to have them available.

“We’ve also got the likes of Niamh Fahey, Karen Duggan, Aine O’Gorman and Julie Ann-Russell who bring their experience so there is a great balance across the squad for what should be a difficult game.”

Republic of Ireland squad v Basque Country

Goalkeepers: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Naoisha McAloon, (Peamount United) Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne)

Defenders: Niamh Fahey (Chelsea), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Savannah McCarthy (Glasgow City), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Jetta Berrill (UCD Waves), Jess Gleeson (Wexford Youths), Niamh Prior (UCD Waves).

Midfielders: Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Meabh De Barca (Galway), Roma McLaughlin (Peamount United), Noelle Murray (Shelbourne), Alex Kavanagh (Shelbourne), Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves), Denise O’Sullivan (Houston Dash).

Forwards: Stephanie Roche (Sunderland), Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne), Aine O’Gorman (UCD Waves).

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