Ireland A coach Guy Garrett has named a 17 player panel for an upcoming two game series with the German U-21s in March in Dublin with several changes from last year’s Celtic Cup squad.
From that panel, Nicci Daly, Niamh Atcheler, Audrey O’Flynn, Cliodhna Sargent and Helen Stevenson have subsequently moved into the full senior squad, a situation which Garrett says is testimony to the group’s importance to player development.
He said “This past year stands to the success of our Ireland A Women’s programme. We had had 6 players move from the programme to compete in the Champions Challenge II and EuroNations tournements last Summer this attests to the current depth of our squads.
“We very much look forward to hosting the Germany U-21 squad, who provided very useful experience last season. We will also host strong oppositon when we play the Scotland U-21 Women’s squad, prior to the Junior Celtic Cup in July.
“I strongly believe that, not only are we producing more and more talented players, but also more competitive players.
“A long-term vision is now turning towards the medium-term, which our programme and development reflects.”
Brenda Flannery, Hannah Matthews, Gillian Pinder and Orla Fox step up from the Irish U-18s following impressive showings in the 2009 European A division while Railway pair Holly Jenkinson and Kate McKenna also move into the panel.
The Germans will play four matches in total in Ireland, beginning with the double-header against the A side and then playing the senior squad twice.
A potential club versus country clash, though, could exist for either Hermes or Railway players as the first of the four Germany games coincides with the Jacqui Potter Cup final date. The two clubs contribute six players between them but only one can reach the cup’s final as they meet in Sunday’s quarter-final.
Ireland A squad for Germany series:
Aisling Campion (Loreto), Miriam Crowley (UCC), Stephanie Quinn (Armagh), Chloe Watkins (Hermes), Nicola Evans (Railway Union), Kate McConnell (Pegasus), Brenda Flannery (Galway), Orla Fox (Pembroke Wanderers), Victoria Green (Clifton Ladies), Holly Jenkinson (Railway Union), Hannah Matthews (Loreto), Kate McKenna (Railway Union), Hannah McMillan (Queens University), Gillian Pinder (Hermes), Katherine Steenson (Armagh), Anna O’Flanagan (Hermes)
Ireland A Programme:
March 17: Ireland A vs Germany U21 Dublin
March 18: Ireland A vs Germany U21 Dublin
March 20: Ireland Senior vs Germany U21 Dublin
March 21: Ireland Senior vs Germany U21 Dublin
June 29/30: two matches vs Scotland U21; Ulster
July 2-4: Junior Celtic Cup (U21) Ulster