Three new faces in Ireland squad to face Iceland in June

Mon, May 22 2017

Colin Bell has named his squad for the visit of Iceland on June 8th. Credit: FAI

Amanda Budden, Dearbhaile Beirne and Heather Payne are the three new faces in the 19-strong Republic of Ireland squad selected for the international friendly with Iceland in Dublin next month.


Striker Roma McLaughlin and midfielder Alex Kavanagh have also been promoted from the under-19s in an experimental squad as Colin Bell looks ahead to the World Cup qualifying campaign which begins in September.


Tallaght Stadium, will host the friendly against the European Championships-bound Iceland, the same venue where Ireland defeated Slovakia in Bell's first home game at the helm.


Cork City goalkeeper Budden and forwards Beirne, of UCD Waves, and Payne of Peamount United have been rewarded for their fine form in the Women's National League, which supplies eight of the 19 squad members.


Shelbourne duo McLaughlin and Kavanagh have been involved with the senior squad before, McLaughlin at the Cyprus Cup in March and Kavanagh for an uncapped friendly against the Basque Country in Sue Ronan's final game in charge last November.


"The next two internationals against Iceland and Scotland in July will be crucial in our preparations for the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign,” Bell told the FAI's official website.


"There is plenty of competition for places throughout the squad and I'm really looking forward to working with a few new faces.


"I was with the under-17s squad at the European Championships and I was impressed by Heather Payne so it will be a great experience for her to step up to the senior squad.


"No single place in the squad is guaranteed and I want to assess as many options as possible ahead of the start of the qualification campaign.


“It will be a difficult game as Iceland have qualified for the European Championships but I want to see us to continue to build momentum towards September."


Republic of Ireland Squad v Iceland

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (Manchester City), Emma Byrne (Brighton and Hove Albion), Amanda Budden (Cork City WFC)


Defenders: Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Harriet Scott (Reading), Megan Campbell (Manchester City), Niamh Fahey (Chelsea), Sophie Perry (Brighton and Hove Albion)


Midfielders: Denise O'Sullivan (Houston Dash), Megan Connolly (Florida State University), Alex Kavanagh (Shelbourne Ladies), Roma McLaughlin (Shelbourne Ladies), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Stephanie Roche (Sunderland), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves)


Strikers: Heather Payne (Peamount United), Dearbhaile Beirne (UCD Waves), Claire O'Riordan (Wexford Youths), Aine O'Gorman (UCD Waves)