Brighton keeper Megan Walsh joins Ireland WNT squad

Ireland Brighton and Hove Albion Megan Walsh
Credit: FAI/@FAIreland on Twitter.

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Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Megan Walsh has joined the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team squad ahead of their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Georgia.

Walsh received international clearance from FIFA to become eligible for selection by Ireland manager Vera Pauw as she had represented England at Under-17, U-19 & U-23 level.

The 27-year-old also represented Great Britain at the 2017 Summer Universiade but has yet to earn a senior international cap.

The Brighton & Hove Albion stopper – who holds the Women’s Super League record for most saves – qualifies for Ireland through her Wexford-born Grandfather, William Walsh, and finally got the green light.

“It is a real honour and privilege to be called up into the Ireland squad. I was with Rianna Jarrett, Denise O’Sullivan and Megan Connolly at Brighton last year when my Irish heritage came up and things went from there,” said Walsh.

“It has taken about 12 months to finally get here. I am excited at the opportunity to be part of the Irish Women’s Team and to work with Vera.

“My Grandparents, on my Dad’s side, were from Enniscorthy, County Wexford, where we still have family.

“I know they would be so proud of me being part of the Women’s National Team.”

Walsh reported into Ireland camp following Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Reading, where fellow Ireland goalkeeper Grace Moloney kept a clean sheet.

“I realise I will have to fight hard for a place on the team but that’s always the case in elite football and I have had to do that wherever I have been in football,” said Walsh.

“The main thing is to qualify for the World Cup and I know all the squad will want to make sure we get out of the Group.”

Shelbourne midfielder Jess Ziu has also been added to the squad alongside 16-year-old clubmate Jessie Stapleton, Celtic’s Isibeal Atkinson and Birmingham City forward Emily Whelan.

Injuries rule out Glasgow City’s Claire Walsh, Wexford Youths midfielder Ellen Molloy and Liverpool forward Leanne Kiernan.

The squad will train at the FAI National Training Centre on Monday afternoon ahead of taking on Slovakia on Thursday, November 25th and then Georgia on Tuesday, November 30th – both at Tallaght Stadium.

Republic of Ireland squad for Slovakia and Georgia

Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading), Megan Walsh (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Defenders: Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Jessie Stapleton (Shelbourne), Savannah McCarthy (Galway WFC), Éabha O’Mahony (Boston College), Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United)
Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Niamh Farrelly (Glasgow City), Ciara Grant (Shelbourne), Aoibheann Clancy (Wexford Youths), Roma McLaughlin (Central Connecticut State University), Jess Ziu (Shelbourne)
Forwards: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Kyra Carusa (HB Koge), Emily Whelan (Birmingham City) Isibeal Atkinson (Celtic), Saoirse Noonan (Shelbourne), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City)

Fixtures

2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Round – Group A
Republic of Ireland v Slovakia
Thursday, November 25th
Tallaght Stadium
KO 19:00
LIVE on RTÉ2
#IRLSVK

2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Round – Group A
Republic of Ireland v Georgia
Tuesday, November 30th
Tallaght Stadium
KO 19:00
LIVE on RTÉ2
#IRLGEO

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com

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