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 who created it?
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 Team – The Players
Vera Pauw hasn’t named her final squad for the World Cup just yet but you can expect most if not all the team who played against Scotland to be included on the plane.
So who are they?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Campbell possesses a secret weapon that is a crucial part of the Irish game plan – an incredible arrow-like long throw-in.
She caused all sorts of havoc to Scotland with her speciality and no doubt Vera Pauw is hoping to do the same with it Down Under at the World Cup.
The Liverpool defender and Drogheda native is a teak-tough left back who was pivotal in Liverpool getting promoted to the top flight of the Women’s Super League last season.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 recognized as the Player of the Match.
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.
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.
Farrelly joined Serie A Femminile side, Parma with the view of being recalled into the Irish set up and she did just that.
Vera Pauw recalled her after a string of impressive performances with the Italian side she got the call.
However, a bad ankle injury hampered her progress in terms of on-field activity but she’s still going to be a serious option for the tournament.
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.
Cavan native Kiernan has an incredible knack for scoring goals.
In 2021 she scored 12 in 15 games for Liverpool before an ankle injury ruled her out for several months last season.
Despite this, the former West Ham and Shelbourne star should still earn her seat on the plane.
Club: Shamrock Rovers
Roche became world famous where her sensational goal for Peamount against Wexford Youths in 2013 went viral on YouTube before being nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award alongside James Rodriguez and Robin Persie.
Outside of that she has made 58 appearances for her country, scoring 14 goals.
She has played for the likes of Houston Dash, Sunderland and Florentia and will bring a wealth of experience if she gets the call up.
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.
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.