Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team: Road to the World Cup

Next Summer the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team embark on their historic journey into the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

It’s the first time in history they have managed to qualify and there is huge excitement for this year’s tournament.

In this blog we’re going to look back on the difficult and testing road to Down Under and see just how Vera Pauw and her side wrote their names in history.

To lean more about the players, check out our Ultimate Guide to the team right here.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the road.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team: The Road to Down Under

FIFA Women’s World Cup UEFA Qualifiers Group Stage

Republic of Ireland 0-1 Sweden

October 21, 2021

The Republic of Ireland opened their campaign with a defeat, but there was huge encouragement got from holding World number 2, Sweden, as close as they did.

A first-half own goal by Louise Quinn was enough for Sweden in Tallaght Stadium was enough for Sweden to give them the win.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team

Katie McCabe and Lucy Quinn came closest for the home side but couldn’t find the net.

But optimism was high after the opening night.

Finland 1-2 Republic of Ireland

October 26, 2021

Vera Pauw’s side got their campaign back on track at the first time of asking with a 2-1 win away to Finland in Helsinki.

A brilliant free kick from Megan Connolly put the Republic of Ireland ahead after ten minutes and dominated much of the first half but couldn’t find a second.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team

However, a fighting re-start from Finland saw them draw level in the 52nd minute through Engman.

But the brilliant Denise O’Sullivan responded instantly , capitalising on poor goalkeeping to fire Ireland ahead.

Goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan put in a player of the match performance to keep their hopes alive.

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Slovakia

November 25, 2021

The Girls in Green were brought crashing back to earth after a strong start to their campaign with this result.

In truth, it very easily could have been a loss too after a second half goal from Martina Surnovska gave the away side a lead.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team

Thankfully, however, Katie McCabe would pull one back, burying a low shot into the far corner to send the home crowd into raptures.

‘Georgia is a must-win – simple,’ manager Vera Pauw said afterwards.

Republic of Ireland 11-0 Georgia

November 30, 2021

And win they did!

The Republic of Ireland hit a record 11 goals over Georgia in Dublin and got their campaign back on track in style!

The hosts were 4-0 up half time, with goals from Kyra Carusa, Lucy Quinn, Denise O’Sullivan and an own-goal.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team

O’Sullivan would go on to hit a hat-trick, Katie McCabe got in on the act with a brace, while Saoirse Noonan, Amber Barrett and Megan Connolly completed the rout.

The win moved them into second in the group, behind leaders Sweden and ahead of Finland.

Sweden 1-1 Republic of Ireland

April 12, 2022

Coming into the game a draw would have been a great result for the Republic of Ireland, however by the full time whistle they would have felt disappointed not to have left with three points!

Arsenal star Katie McCabe have the away side a shock lead late in the first half and they looked nailed on to record probably their best win ever, until Real Madrid’s Kosovare Asllani equalised 11 minutes from time.

Despite being under pressure for much of the game, the Irish stuck to their defensive duties diligently, attacking on the break and causing trouble too.

The home side needed a point to qualify, and their siege eventually broke the stern Irish defence down to break the Republic of Ireland’s hearts.

Georgia 0-9 Republic of Ireland

June 27, 2022

A hat-trick from Katie McCabe and double from Louis Quinn thrashed Georgia once more in Gori.

Goals from Niamh Fahey, Megan Connolly, Abbie Larkin and Denise O’Sullivan cruised to a victory that would send them back into second place of the group ahead of Finland.

‘We have two games to go and we have it on our own hands,” Vera Pauw said after. ‘We have the feeling that we can maybe do it.’

Republic of Ireland 1-0 Finland

September 1, 2022

A second half goal from Lily Agg sensational secured the Republic of Ireland a place in the play-offs on a famous night in Dublin.

A record home crowd of 6,952 people packed into Tallaght Stadium to see the Irish recover from a sluggish start to earn them a deserved lead.

They could not begin to dream of a trip to Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

Slovakia 0-1 Republic of Ireland

September 6, 2022

The classy Denise O’Sullivan kept the Girls in Green in winning form against a tough Slovakia side.

Despite already having booked their place in the play-offs, a win for the away side would provide a bit of retribution given Slovakia took points from them earlier in the campaign.

In a cagey game, Cork native O’Sullivan took her goal brilliantly in the 37th minute and added further trajectory to her rising stock in the world game.

FIFA Women’s World Cup UEFA Qualifiers Play Off

Scotland 0-1 Republic of Ireland

October 11, 2022

A famous, famous night.

Amber Barrett’s goal for the Republic of Ireland in the 72nd minute was enough to defeat Scotland at Hampden Park and secure their spot in the tournament in Australia and New Zealand the following year.

As the Scots failed to express themselves and saw their own dreams of replicating their 2019 finals appearance die, Real Madrid star Caroline Weir had a first-half penalty saved from Courtney Brosnan.

Both teams entered the evening unsure of their futures, but other outcomes clarified the picture and made it plain to Republic of Ireland that a victory would be sufficient to guarantee their spot in Australia and New Zealand the following year.

Republic of Ireland Women’s National Football Team

‘I’m so proud of the girls’ performance,’ captain Katie McCabe said after. ‘It wasn’t pretty tonight at all, but it was an unbelievable save from Courtney for the penalty.

‘We put our bodies on the line, we worked for each other, we ran for each other, and that’s what this team is all about.

‘We’ve got an identity we’ve been working on throughout this campaign. It’s not pretty and it’s not everyone’s favourite style of football, but it works for us and we enjoy it.’

Let the party begin.

Conclusion

If you’re curious what the road ahead looks like for the Republic of Ireland now, check out our blog on their World Cup 2023 Fixtures and Opponents.

We’re proud Retail Partners of the FAI and we have some of the best jerseys and training ranges below.

Check them out.


Ireland Womens Football Fixtures: World Cup 2023

Next July the 2023 World Cup gets underway and the Ireland womens football fixtures are sealed.

After qualifying for the tournament for the first time ever after beating Scotland in a Play Off last October, Irish football fans have been waiting patiently to see our opponents.

With the first outing on July 20th, 2023 the Ireland womens football fixtures get off to a tough start against hosts Australia, before a very testing second game against Canada and a final outing against African heavyweights Nigeria.

Despite the big time differences between Ireland and Australia, each game is on at a very respectable time, meaning we will all get to tune in.

In this blog we’ll give you the time, dates and venues for the Irish womens football team World Cup, as well as a breakdown of their group stage opponents.

Ireland Womens Football Fixtures

Ireland Womens Football Fixtures Group B

Game 1

Australia v Republic of Ireland

11am (Irish time) in the Allianz Stadium

Game 2

Canada v Republic of Ireland

1pm (Irish time) in nib Stadium.

Game 3

Republic of Ireland v Nigeria

11am (Irish time) in Suncorp Stadium

Ireland Womens Football Fixtures: World Cup Opponents

Australia

World Ranking: 12

Star player: Sam Kerr

Manager: Tony Gustavsson

As co-hosts of the tournament with New Zealand, Australia were automatically placed in Group B and didn’t have to go through a qualification route.

Nicknamed ‘The Matildas’, they have also never made it past the quarter-final stage.

Ireland Womens Football Fixtures

The nature of the draw means they will play all their three group games on home soil, giving them a significant advantage against what is expected to be a huge crowd going by ticket sales to date.

Their biggest threat is their captain, the talismatic Sam Kerr who is also their all-time leading goal scorer.

The Chelsea star is the only female footballer to have won the Golden Boot in three different leagues and three different continents – The W-League (Australia/New Zealand), the NWSL (North America) and the FAWSL (Europe).

They also boast other WSL stars such as Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord and Man City’s Hayley Raso.

Canada

World Ranking: 6

Star Player: Christine Sinclair

Coach: Bev Priestman

The Canadians are most likely to top the group and are a serious World Cup contender after winning the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

They managed to go through 2022 unbeaten, with the exception of a 1-0 loss to reigning world champions and neighbours the USA.

Ireland Womens Football Fixtures

Their captain, Christine Sinclair, is the world’s all-time leader in international goals scored across the mens and womens game with 190 after 300 caps!

Sinclair has also scored at five World Cups and is a 14-time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year.

They are stacked with WSL players, such as Man United winger Adriana Leon, Chelsea duo Jessie Fleming and Shelina Zadorsky, along with Spurs defender Kadeisha Buchanan.

Nigeria

World Ranking: 45

Star Player: Asisat Oshoala

Coach: Randy Waldrum

A former powerhouse of African women’s football, Nigeria come into the tournament in poor form.

A fourth place finish at the last Africa Cup of Nations was deemed a very result – considering they won 11 of the previous 13 tournaments it’s easy to see why.

Ireland Womens Football Fixtures

But there is no doubting that they have some really quality, none more than Barcelona striker Asisat Oshoala.

Regarded as one of the greatest African female footballers of all time, she has won a record 5 African Footballer of the Year awards.

Last year, she was nominated for the Ballon d’Or after a season where she won the Primera Division’s Golden Boot, and a year after winning the Champions League.

Conclusion

To find out more about the Republic of Ireland womens team, check out our Ultimate Guide to the Players right HERE.

Or else, why not check out our FAI range below?

Thanks for reading.


Ireland Women’s Soccer: The Ultimate Guide

Ireland women’s soccer team created history last year after qualifying for their first ever World Cup with a historic win over Scotland in Hampden Park.

A second half goal from Amber Barrett proved enough for Vera Pauw’s side to book their tickets to Australia and New Zealand this year.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup is going to be a memorable moment in Irish sporting history, but just who are the team going to the World Cup?

As proud Official Retail Partners of the FAI, we’re going to delve a bit deeper into the team in this blog.

We can’t wait for the World Cup, especially since Republic of Ireland will be facing the hosts, Australia, in the World Cup opener!

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? 😊

Before you meet the players, if you want to know more about the fixtures and opponents, you’ll find it out in this blog.

Ireland women's soccer

Ireland Women’s Soccer Team – The Players

Vera Pauw has just named her final squad for the World Cup and there were some shock announcements to say the least.

So lets have a look at the full squad and then we’ll drill down into some of the players.

Ireland women's soccer

Goalkeepers

Courtney Brosnan

Position: Goalkeeper

Age: 27

Club: Everton

American-born Brosnan was one of the heroines of Ireland’s win over Scotland, saving a second half penalty from Real Madrid star Caroline Weir.

She has amassed 11 caps for Ireland and kept clean sheets in 9 of those, the former West Ham star will be a hugely important cog in the wheel for Ireland’s World Cup chances.

Ireland women's soccer

Grace Moloney

Position: Goalkeeper

Age: 30

Club: Reading

Moloney has been a consistent player for Reading FC, helping the team secure promotion to the FA Women’s Super League in the 2020-2021 season.

Born in Slough, England she made her international debut for the Republic of Ireland in 2016 and has since become an integral part of the Women’s National Team squad.

On December 1, 2020, at Tallaght Stadium, Moloney made her debut under Vera Pauw in a crucial UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 qualifying match against Germany. Pauw praised Moloney’s performance as “fantastic” despite Ireland’s 3-1 loss.

Megan Walsh

Position: Goalkeeper

Age: 28

Club: Brighton & Hove Albion

After playing here youth football with England, It was revealed that Walsh, had switched her allegiance to Ireland, becoming eligible due to the fact that her grandfather was born in Wexford, and after failing to be called up for the England senior team.

She was called up for Ireland’s matches against Slovakia and Georgia in the Women’s World Cup qualifying round last year. On February 19, 2022, during Ireland’s 1-0 loss to Russia at the 2022 Pinatar Cup, Walsh received her maiden international call-up and first cap.

Ireland women's soccer

Defenders

Heather Payne

Position: Defender

Age: 22

Club: Florida State Seminoles

Payne, a native of Roscommon, originally attracted people’s attention when she was playing minor soccer with Salthill Devon. She then advanced fast through the underage ranks at the international level.

She competed for Ireland at the UEFA Women’s Under-17 European Championships in Iceland in 2015, and in a friendly match against Scotland in July 2017, she made her senior debut.

In the April 2021 friendly loss to Belgium by a score of 1-0, Heather was recognised as the Player of the Match.

 

Niamh Fahey

Position: Defender

Age: 35

Club: Liverpool

The Galway native is one of the most experienced players in the squad, having earned 106 caps and being named Senior International Player on three occasions.

Fahey has a wealth of experience, winning every honour in the English game with Arsenal before moving to Chelsea and winning the league and cup double.

Also a prominent Gaelic footballer in her past, Vera Pauw will be looking to Fahey to bring all her experience to the fore this year for the Ireland women’s soccer team.

Ireland women's soccer

Louise Quinn

Position: Defender

Age: 32

Club: Birmingham City

One of the star’s of the team, the Birmingham City captain earned her 99th cap against Scotland.

A native of Wicklow, the former Peamount, Arsenal and Fiorentina player has scored an impressive 15 goals for her country.

She was also named the 2021-22 Signing of the Season in the FA WSL by The Guardian, finishing as Birmingham’s top goalscorer, as a defender, but could do nothing more as they got relegated to the second tier.

Ireland women's soccer

Diane Caldwell

Position: Defender

Age: 34

Club: Reading

Caldwell has experienced top level football all over the world, with the likes of FC Koln in Germany, North Carolina Courage in the USA, Avaldsnes IL in Norway and Manchester United and Reading in England.

The Balbriggan defender is comfortable in midfield or defence and lined out against Scotland replacing the injured Savannah McCarthy.

However, she still remains an important player.

Ireland women's soccer

Chloe Mustaki

Position: Defender

Age: 27

Club: Bristol City

Mustaki was the captain of the Women’s Under-19 squad that advanced to the semi-finals of the 2014 UEFA European Championships in Norway.

After receiving a Lymphoma diagnosis, Mustaki heroically overcame it to return to football, playing for Peamount United, UCD Waves, and Shelbourne in the Women’s National League and competing at the World University Games.

She was called up to the Ireland senior squad in March 2020 thanks to her time with Charlton Athletic, but she injured her ACL during training.

Mustaki would need two years to heal before making her senior debut in the Pinatar Cup match against Russia in February 2022, which Russia won 1-0.

Aine O’Gorman

Position:Defender

Age: 33

Club: Shamrock Rovers

Aine joined the Republic of Ireland women’s soccer squad when she was just 16 years old in 2006, and she remained on the team until she retired from international competition in 2018.

Under the direction of manager Vera Pauw, the versatile player, who spent the majority of her career as a striker, did make a comeback to the senior squad line up in 2020 as a full-back.

Aine led Ireland for the first time in 2015, and in 2016 she contributed a hat-trick to their historic victory over Montenegro.

Megan Connolly

Position: Defender

Age: 25

Club: Brighton and Hove Albion

A Cork native, Megan comes from a family steeped in sport, particularly GAA with her being the brother of Cork star Luke Connolly.

Connolly, an attacking-minded midfielder with excellent skill, excelled during her time at Florida State University and was selected to the NSCAA First-Team All American in 2015.

In 2019, she signed up with Brighton & Hove Albion. Her first senior goal came against Montenegro in 2016; her second, against Finland in 2021, was directly off a free kick.

Claire O’Riordan

Position: Defender

Age: 28

Club: Celtic

O’Riordan never represented Ireland at the youth level, but at the 2016 Cyprus Women’s Cup, against Hungary, she earned her maiden senior cap.

A defender, who is also comfortable in attack, she spent her first five years of her senior career with Wexford Youths in the Irish Women’s National League before agreeing to a professional deal with MSV Duisburg in the German Frauen-Bundesliga.

In August 2022, O’Riordan signed a contract with Celtic following four years in Germany.

Izzy Atkinson

Position: Defender

Age: 21 

Club: West Ham United

The Dublin born defender was first named in a Republic of Ireland squad at the tender age of 16 before making her first start in a 1–0 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying defeat in Norway in June 2018.

The former Shelbourne and Celtic was predominately a winger in her early part of her career, but has been transformed into an attacking full back.

Pauw will certainly be looking to utilise her in this role as she also has an eye for a goal.

Midfielders

Lily Agg

Position: Midfielder

Age: 29

Club: London City Lionesses

The English born midfielder qualifies for Ireland through her Cork-born Grandmother and made her debut in the squad in April 2021.

Agg scored the winner against Finland on her home debut to help Ireland secure that all-important Play-Off spot against Scotland.

Arriving off the bench after an injury to Ruesha Littlejohn, Agg headed home the winning goal.

Denise O’Sullivan

Position: Midfielder:

Age: 28

Club: North Carolina Courage

A midfield maestro who is only of the Republic of Ireland’s most important players and one of the top players in the National Women’s Soccer League where she plys her trade with North Carolina Courage.

The Cork native joined Glasgow City in June 2013, and in both the 2013–14 and 2014–15 seasons, she helped the team reach the Women’s Champions League’s round of 16 and final eight.

Denise immigrated to the US and began her career with the Houston Dash before switching to the North Carolina Courage, where she received Team MVP honors twice in consecutive championship seasons.

Irish Womens Soccer Team

Katie McCabe

Position: Midfielder

Age: 27

Club: Arsenal

Captain fantastic and a genuine world-class star at Arsenal who has propelled her name onto the game’s biggest stages.

After signing with Arsenal in 2015, she has won the FA Cup, league title and was named on the PFA Team of the Year in 2021.

The Dublin star was named the youngest ever captain of the Ireland women’s soccer team in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since, scoring 18 goals in 70 appearances.

Ruesha Littlejohn

Position: Midfielder

Age: 32

Club: Aston Villa

Ruesha, a swift and lethal finisher, had represented Scotland the youth level but choose to represent Ireland at senior.

Had a brief stint at Liverpool and scored her first goal for the senior team in the 5-1 Cyprus Cup victory over Northern Ireland.

She’s also played with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, London Bees, Leicester City and Birmingham City.

Ciara Grant

Position: Midfielder

Age: 30

Club: Heart of Midlothian

The talented Donegal native is a qualified doctor and has worked as a lecturer in the Royal College of Surgeons.

However, she will now be focusing on her football for the foreseeable with a huge task ahead of her.

Grant earned her senior international debut against the United States’ 5-0 friendly defeat in 2012. She was placed in an unfamiliar right-back position by then team coach Sue Ronan.

In June 2021, Vera Pauw called Grant back to the national squad after she performed well for Shelbourne and made another appearance on November 30, 2021, in UEFA Group A’s 11-0 victory against Georgia to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Sinead Farrelly

Position: Midfielder 

Age: 33

Club: NJ/NY Gotham FC

Born and raised in Pennsylvania to  to an Irish father, she initially represented her country of birth the youth level before switching to represent the Republic of Ireland senior national team in 2023.

She earned her first senior international cap with Ireland on April 8, 2023, by starting and playing 60 minutes in a friendly against the United States senior team and brings real experience to the Irish set up.

Lucy Quinn

Position: Midfielder/Forward

Age: 29

Club: Birmingham City

Quinn has had an impressive career in English football, notably with Birmingham City Women, where she has consistently contributed with goals and assists.

She made her international debut in 2015 and has been a valuable attacking option for the Women’s National Team having previously represented Great Britain at the 2017 World University Games where she won the golden boot award for most goals scored.

Her speed, technical ability, and goal-scoring instincts make her a threat to opponents.

Forwards

Amber Barrett

Position: Striker

Age: 27

Club: FFC Turbine Potsdam

The scorer of that now famous goal that sent her country to the World Cup for the first time ever.

The Donegal star arrived off the bench in the 65th minute delivered when it was needed the most and etched her name in the Ireland women’s soccer team’s history.

Pauw and her team will be hoping for more of her magic come World Cup time.

Kyra Carusa

Position: Striker

Age: 27

Club: London City Lionesses

Carusa made her debut for the Women’s National Team in 2021 and has since proven to be a promising forward.

Her ability to score goals and attacking prowess has clearly impressed Pauw and was enough to convince her to bring her to the World Cup, scoring 30 goals in 51 appearances for HB Køge between 2020-2023.

Marissa Sheva

Position: Forward

Age: 26

Club: Washington Spirit

Sheva alerted the FAI to her eligibility for the Republic of Ireland women’s national football team and was called up to a training camp in Marbella in February 2023.

 Her maternal grandparents came from Donegal and Tyrone.

Sheva won her first cap as a half-time substitute for Abbie Larkin in a 0–0 friendly draw with China, on 22 February 2023,

In April 2023 Sheva started Ireland’s next two fixtures, both against the United States. Sheva played on the left wing, having made her debut on the right wing.

Coach Vera Pauw said the team’s and Sheva’s performance in advance of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup was encouraging despite the fact that they lost both games.

Abbie Larkin

Position: Forward

Age: 18

Club: Shamrock Rovers

One of the youngest players on the squad, Larkin received her first call-up to the senior Republic of Ireland team in February 2022, just in time for the Pinatar Cup in Murcia, but needed her parents’ approval before skipping school to go on the trip!

She was given her maiden cap on February 19, 2022, in a 1-0 loss to Russia and later replaced Kyra Carusa at halftime in a 1-0 victory over Wales.

During the 9-0 victory over Georgia at Gori on June 27, 2022, Larkin scored her first goal for Ireland on the occasion of her fourth cap with Vera Pauw commenting: “I hope that everyone has seen how talented she is.”

Stand-By Players

Jamie Finn

Position: Defender/Midfielder

Age: 24

Club: Birmingham City

Finn’s versatility is a huge asset and will see her play in a wing back or defensive midfielder role.

The Dublin born star received what she felt was a surprise call up to the squad for Ireland’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 qualifier against Greece back in 2019 and impressed during a 1-1 draw.

Her performance that day propelled her confidence and she went from strength to strength, eventually earning a professional contract with Birmingham City where she still plays.

Ireland women's soccer

 

 

Conclusion

We hope this blog has given you more insight into the : Ireland women’s soccer team ahead of the much-anticipated World Cup.

Intersport Elverys, as proud Retail Partners of the FAI, will be there every step of the way.

Stay tuned for more content or check out the FAI Women’s Range below.


Ultimate XI: Republic of Ireland National Football Team Players

We’re proud that some of the past Republic of Ireland national football team players can be ranked amongst the best in the world.

So it gave us the idea to try and come up with the Best Irish Football XI ever.

And trust us, it wasn’t easy!

We were left in the situation where we just couldn’t fit some of the greatest former Republic of Ireland national football team players.

That’s how tight the competition was for some places.

But as Official Retail Partners of the FAI, we just had to have a go.

Republic of Ireland National Football Team Players (4-1-4-1)

Goalkeeper: Shay Given

Caps: 134

Plenty of competition for the number one jersey, but it’s hard to look past Donegal native Given.

The former Newcastle United, Manchester City and Aston Villa star was one of the Premier League’s stand out goalkeepers for two decades and won a FA Cup with Man City in 2011.

Republic of Ireland national football team players

Given also made the 2001/02 and the 2005/06 PFA Team of the Year – again showing why he is considered one of the Premier League greats.

He kept 52 Irish clean sheets and 113 in his 451 Premier League appearances.

His cat-like reflex saves were often an act of genius.

Right Back: Seamus Coleman

Caps: 59

Another Donegal native on the team and the only modern-day footballer to make the cut and has kept out the likes of Steven Finan and Gary Kelly.

Since signing for Everton from Sligo Rovers in 2009, Coleman has established himself as one of the club’s all-time greats and one of the Premier League’s best ever right backs.

Coleman has crossed paths and kept tabs with some of the best players in world football – Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard to name a few – and has never looked out of place.

Republic of Ireland national football team players

After suffering a bad broken leg for Ireland in March 2017, Coleman displayed his typical admirable resolve to get back to his best the following years.

Pacey, stylish and the stamina of a racehorse, Coleman showed all his qualities as he helped Everton to avoid the drop in 2022.

Frank Lampard and Carlo Ancelloti are on record giving the Irishman the very height of praise.

Left Back: Denis Irwin

Caps: 56

No more than Coleman, there was some serious competition for this position.

But when all is said and done, Denis Irwin is simply untouchable from an Irish defensive point of view.

Even Steve Staunton and Ian Harte wouldn’t be able to threaten Irwin’s place on this ultimate XI.

The Cork man is best remember for a stellar and trophy laden 12-year career at Manchester United, finishing with seven Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup and European Cup Winners.

Republic of Ireland national football team players

Plus the Holy Grail – the Champions League in 1999.

Some of you may not know that Irwin is actually naturally right-footed too, but preferred the left back position.

He was like a modern-day attacking full back but with a supreme defensive ability. While his free kicks were sensational too.

The best full back in Premier League history?

Quite possibly.

Centre Back: Paul McGrath

Caps: 83

Any Irish football fan knows how much of an enigma the great Paul McGrath is.

Despite battling knee injuries and alcoholism throughout his career, McGrath is considered one of the all-time greats in Irish football history.

A stylish, tough-tackling centre back, McGrath could also easily mix it up in midfield too.

Republic of Ireland national football team players

He is one of only six defenders in history to win the PFA Players Player of the Year award during his Premier League career that was spent at Aston Villa and Manchester United.

His titanic performance against Italy at the World Cup 1994 in the USA stamped in his name forever in the upper echelons of Republic of Ireland national football team players.

One of the real greats.

Centre Back: Richard Dunne

Caps: 80

Completing the back four wasn’t easy.

In one breath you could make an argument for John O’Shea whose trophy cabinet speaks for itself, while Steve Staunton is also an obvious choice.

But for us, Richard Dunne gets jersey because on his day, his no-holds-barred defensive style was simply outstanding.

McGrath will have all the poise and Dunne will do the ugly work.

And we don’t mean that as an insult. Dunne was a rock at the back for Manchester City, Everton and Aston Villa.

A former PFA Team of the Year defender, Dunne’s performance against Russa in the Euro 2012 Qualifiers was sensational.

Defensive Midfielder: Roy Keane

Caps: 67

The first name on the team sheet and the captain – without question.

Workrate. Aggression. Skill. Fighter. Leader. Winner.

There are few superlatives that won’t describe the former Manchester United legend.

Republic of Ireland national football team players

A player who won it all with the biggest club in the world at their pomp and one who was equally feared and renowned worldwide.

Not without his controversy either, namely being sent home from the 2002 World Cup after a falling out with manager Mick McCarthy.

But Keane was pure class and a born winner.

Left Midfield: Damien Duff

Caps: 100

At the height of his career, Duff was one of the best left midfielders in world football.

A two-time Premier League winner with Chelsea, Duff tormented defenders in the Premier League for years with his silky dribbling, pace and a keen eye for goal.

Often not given the praise he deserves for his talents, Duff was able to stand out on a newly-rich Chelsea side stacked with stars, under José Mourinho.

He’s now adapted his talents on the field to the coaching side of the game too.

A joy to watch in full flight.

Centre Midfield: Liam Brady

Caps: 72

Many people reading this might be more aware of Liam Brady at this stage as an outspoken critic on the RTÉ panel!

However, he is undoubtedly one of the most naturally talented footballers Ireland every produced.

His club career speaks for itself too: Arsenal, Inter Milan, Juventus and West Ham among the clubs he starred for – at a time when Italian football was the envy of the world.

Two Serie A titles and an FA Cup fill his trophy cabinet as well.

As a player he was gifted with amazing footwork and trickery, a world-class passer of the ball and a prolific goal-scorer.

Centre Midfield: Johnny Giles

Caps: 59

We’ve opted to play with only one striker to make room for Johnny Giles, because a combination of him and Brady in midfield could easily supply enough for a prolific goal scorer to make hay with.

A former Manchester United and Leeds United star, Giles is arguably the best out-and-out centre midfield Irish player ever.

A low tally of caps compared to the rest of the team, due to the era in which he played, Giles was still a huge favourite with the ‘Boys in Green’.

He then went on to manage Ireland and was hailed for his role there too.

Right Midfield: Ray Houghton

Caps: 70

The Scottish born midfielder was versatile and had an unbeatable talent of scoring important goals.

Think England in the 1988 Euros and Italy in the 1994 World Cup, those winning goals are still so fondly remembered today.

Not as naturally talented as some of his teammates on this side, Houghton was an experienced big-game player who was hugely reliable.

His club CV include Fulham, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace and he never let his adopted country down.

Striker: Robbie Keane

Caps: 146

A former captain, the top goalscorer in Irish football history and the most capped Irish player of all time, there’s only one Robbie Keane.

‘Keano’ also bagged 126 goals in the Premier League after stints with Coventry, Leeds, Spurs, Liverpool, West Ham and Villa.

An elite goal-scorer, almost an old-school poacher and criminally underrated still to this day.

Scorer of 68 international goals, including that famous, famous strike against Germany in the 2002 World Cup that put Ireland into the last 16.

We have supreme confidence that Keane could lead the line on his own in this team!

And who could forget the famous celebration?

Honourable mentions:

We couldn’t go without giving a mention to the likes of Niall Quinn, Steve Staunton, John O’Shea, Packie Bonner and Frank Stapleton to name a few.

Conclusion

Do you agree or disagree with our selections?

Remember, it is a game of opinions after all and we’d love to hear yours.

So let us know.

Before you go, you might like this blog covering all things Kids Football Training Equipment?


Jersey Print | Personalisation at Intersport Elverys

Are you interested in getting your favourite football player’s and number printed on your personalised jersey?

Intersport Elverys can do just that, available in select stores and online. We’ve got all the best Premier League jersey print for you – so what are you waiting for?

Get your hero or your child’s hero emblazoned on the back of your favourite jersey right now and stand out from crowd.

Check out our huge range of Football Jerseys HERE – all available with print.

We’ve more details on what stores provide the service below.

We also provide a custom embroidery service, check it out HERE. 

 

 

Jersey Print: Where can I get it?

Jersey print and personalisation is available in Intersport Elverys in select stores only and online.

For teamwear, our graphic design and printing department can help you create the football team jerseys and uniforms you have in mind. Choose from dozens of stock designs for team names, numbers, player names and mascots (10 characters maximum and 2 digits maximum).

For personal wear, decorate your own jersey with your favourite player’s number and name or even put your own name on it!

We can also accommodate all novelty tee printing should you require.

Ask in store for details or ring our Printwear department on +353 (0)94 9020317 We can also do this online when you purchase a new jersey on our website.

jersey print

Stores with Irish Rugby Jersey Print

  • Galway Retail Park,
  • Dublin  Suffolk St, Henry St and Dundrum

Stores with Printers

  • Dublin, Fonthill
  • Dublin, Swords
  • Dublin, Dundrum
  • Dublin, Suffolk Street
  • Dublin, Henry Street
  • Athlone, Golden Island
  • Mullingar, Lakepoint
  • Arklow, Bridgewater
  • Galway Retail Park
  • Thurles, Shopping Centre
  • Sligo, Johnston Court
  • Castlebar, Bridge Street
  • Limerick, Crescent Shopping Center
  • Kilkenny – Parliament Street
  • Cork, Oliver Plunkett Street

Online Jersey Print & Personalisation

To get your jersey personalised online, just follow the steps below:

– Go to the Intersport Elverys website HERE.

– Head to the football section and select the jersey you want personalised.

– First, select your jersey size.

– Then select the button that says “PERSONALISE THIS PRODUCT”.

– A pop up will appear. This is where you enter the name you want on the jersey (max 10 characters) and the number (max 6 digits).

– When finished, select “Confirm and add cost to total”.

– You will then need to checkout and pay for your purchase.

– Finally, enjoy!

**Important – You must be purchasing a new jersey, to avail of online personalisation.

Conclusion

If you love your football, then you’ll love a customised jersey.

At Intersport Elverys, we’ve got every jersey from all the top teams around the world.

Don’t miss out.

Shop football at Intersport Elverys HERE.

jersey print


5 of the Best Weight Training Exercises for Women

Is this the year you want to really get in shape? Well, we’re here with the best weight training exercises for women to help you do just that.

Don’t worry if you’re slightly intimidated by starting weight training for the first time either, it’s easier than it looks.

Also, forget about that myth that weight training makes women ‘big and bulky’ – that’s completely outdated.

It’s proven to benefit heart health, bone health, body composition, sporting performance, metabolism, injury prevention and mental health.

So if you’re heading for the gym, or working out from home, and are wondering what basic weight training exercise you can do, look no further.

We’ve got you covered below.

Our brand ambassador and Republic of Ireland soccer star, Rianna Jarret explains what her best weight training exercises for women are.

Oh, and by the way, you also might be interested in our Ultimate Guide to Doing Yoga at Home Blog?

Best Weight Training Exercises for Women

Dumbbell Chest Press

“Playing any kind of field sport, the dumbbell chest press is really important. Especially for me as a strike, it’s important to be strong in my upper body – my arms and my chest – in order to keep the defenders away from the ball.
“When you’re doing the exercise, it’s important to make sure you’re in control of the movement throughout the exercise and not letting the dumbbell swing or sway while pressing.

best weight training exercises for women

“Keep your feet plant on the ground, engage the core and try and aim for 90-degree angles in your arms when you are at the bottom of the lift.

“I like to do three sets of eight repetitions.”

One arm row

You will need a bench or sturdy platform to do this exercise. You need to keep two feet on the ground and one arm on the bench.

“It’s important to bring the dumbbell to your chest while concentrating the feeling with your back and shoulder muscles. So squeeze these at the top of the move.

best weight training exercises for women

“This is good for building a strong core a well and as a field sport athlete, helps me in keeping the defender at arms width.”

Seated Shoulder Press

You will need a bench or something similar for this exercise.

“Start off with a light weight to get the feel for the movement, making sure you get a full range of motion while staying controlled throughout.

best weight training exercises for women

“This exercise is very important for a footballer because I need to be strong in my shoulders to compete in the aerial battles.”

Tricep Extension

The start position for this exercise is very similar to the one arm row and all the same principles apply only you keep one knee on the bench too.

“The only difference is you’re starting at close to a 90-degree angle before sweeping the dumbbell back towards your feet and aiming to keep get your arm at 180 degrees.

“This is key for me as a footballer because upper body strength is such an important part of the game.”

Kettlebell/Dumbbell Squat

“Squats with a kettlebell train the legs dynamically while also engaging the upper back and shoulders. As you hold the kettlebell in front of you, they also put a strain on your core.

“Stand with your feet hip width apart to perform a kettlebell squat. Pick up your kettlebell with both hands and hold it close to your chest with the handle facing downwards and your hands around the primary section of the kettlebell.

“Squat with your chest high and back straight while holding the kettlebell close to your chest.

“Squats are really good because how they challenge your whole body throughout the exercise and are definitely one of the best weight training exercises for women.”

Check out the video of Rianna Jarrett below.

 

We hope this guide has given you some inspiration and guidance in kickstarting your weight training schedule.

If you’re not yet feeling comfortable to hit the weight rack, cardio and running exercise has a lot of health benefits too.

You can check out our home-gym and weight training accessories HERE or below.

best weight training exercises for women