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Ireland is relishing an “extremely exciting” chance to qualify for the World Cup

Once again, the women’s soccer team led by the Dutch coach has a chance to go down in history. This time, however, they are Irish.

Sarina Wiegman and her English lionesses may have conquered Europe this summer, but Girls in Green’s ambitions are now more focused around the world as they only have one match to seal a trip to their first World Cup.

All this is still drowning for defender Niamha Fahey, whose success for the team that finished second in their group put them on a break in the second round of UEFA qualifying qualifiers in October.

“This is extremely exciting,” she told PA news agency. “It was a great campaign for us. I think we did very well all the time to get the results we achieved and put us in that position.

“One match before the World Cup. Sometimes it’s a bit surreal because you always think to put yourself in this situation a few months ago, a year ago, thinking it was a really tough job.

“But now we’re here, we’ve almost reached the end of the line. This is a great moment. Can’t wait.

Despite their performance in qualifying, Fahey and her Irish teammates may be seen as potential underdogs on October 11 as they face Scotland’s winner Austria to book tickets to Australia and New Zealand next year.

Ireland ranks 26th in the world, while Austrians and Scots ranks 20th and 23rd respectively. In both cases, the guests will be Girls in Zielenia.

Switzerland and Iceland look forward to their rivals in the remaining second-round clashes, with the top two play-off winners based on group stage and play-off results immediately closing their seats in the World Cup, while the third will advance to the interconfederation play-off in February.

Born in Killannin Fahey, the youngest of eight, he was born into a family of athletes. Brother Gary captained Galway for the 2001 Gaelic title, sharing the trophy with Brother Rich. Fahey herself practiced the sport, winning women’s football across Ireland in 2004.

But now the Liverpool captain, who made 104 appearances for Ireland, has seen something in federation that the GAA cannot offer.

“Assume [a Republic of Ireland] the shirt is really everything, ”she said. “This is the reason why I started playing soccer. This is why I chose soccer over Gaelic football when I was a young girl in Ireland, this chance to put on an Irish jersey and test myself with other nationalities and the best in the world.

Dutch Vera Pauw serves as head coach of the Republic of Ireland and crossed career paths with English Sarina Wiegman (Niall Carson / PA)

(PA Archive)

“I am extremely proud every time I take it. I don’t take it for granted. I know this is a huge source of pride for my family as well, so taking advantage of this opportunity is huge for me. “

Like Lionesses, Girls in Green are headed by a Dutch boss. Vera Pauw may not yet be as recognizable as England head coach Wiegman, but Fahey has just as much respect for her.

She said, “Sarina does [won the Euros] twice, and of course Vera has been to the Netherlands before and has done a tremendous job to raise the level of the female game. The Dutch have a huge pedigree in football.

Even so, Fahey never asked her boss about Wiegman, even though two head coaches cut their career paths.

Fahey began her career in England’s top division at Arsenal in 2008, winning two titles with Gunners and one with Chelsea after launching the Women’s Super League (WSL) in 2011.

Niamh Fahey (center) is ready to captain the newly promoted Liverpool (Nick Potts / PA)

(PA Archive)

She joined Liverpool in 2018 after seeing The Reds survive the relegation disappointment at the end of the 2019-20 season and their return to the top tier after a dominant season in the championship last season.

Liverpool, with the Queen’s death postponed in the first week of WSL action, will now host the Chelsea title winner in Sunday’s opening of the season. The beginning of a campaign that Fahey is determined will end with more than just survival.

When asked what the captain would say to his teammates on Sunday, including the Irish Leanne Kiernan and Megan Campbell, Fahey added: “[We have] have faith.

“We have a really good squad, a really good team. There is no reason why we cannot compete with anyone in our time. “


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