(Credit: Chris O'Mahony)
Three Cork youngsters played an integral part in a double header for the Irish Under 17’s against Denmark this week.
Megan Connolly from College Corinthians, Chelsea Noonan from Douglas Hall and Ciara McNamara from St Mary’s were all part of Dave Connell’s squad and all three played the entirety of the first game which Ireland won 2 – 0 with Connolly scoring both of Ireland’s goals in her first international game at this age group.
They followed that up on Thursday with a 1 – 1 draw against a nation who have proven a difficult opponent for Ireland in recent times and again Connolly found the net for Ireland.
“I scored in the first half and second half of the first game and it was a great honour for me to score on my debut for the 17’s.
“The second game was another great game. We went behind in the first ten minutes and then it was even after that and then I got another goal. The manager said well done to us afterwards and hopefully we will get called back soon for the European Championship qualifiers in Belarus,” said the 15 year old.
Noonan was Ireland’s goalkeeper for the first game and as well as keeping a clean sheet, put in an impressive performance, which she was pleased with.
“The first game went very well and we didn’t concede any goals, they tested me a few times but we were well on top.
“Once I got my first touch I felt really calm and I had good defenders in front of me too which helped.
“I wasn’t very happy with how I did in training but after getting that level of training for a few days I felt confident in the match.
“There are four goalkeepers on trial so hopefully I will get called back,” said the 16 year old.
McNamara played as a holding midfielder in both games and was delighted with how the whole week went.
“We were at a training camp really as we have been up their training since Saturday and had two matches as well.
"I’ve played international football previously with the Irish under 16’s and the Irish school’s team but this was a step up because they are one of the top sides in Europe and they are a very physically big side but in fairness we did very well against them.”
I’m happy with how I played and the manager Dave Connell and his assistant Dave Bell both told me I did well too so that was good to hear,” said McNamara.
Connell is expected to name his squad in the coming days for Ireland’s European qualifier’s later this month.