LETTERKENNY NATIVE CIARA GRANT has been included in the Republic of Ireland senior squad for the European Championship qualifier against Finland in Dublin.
Grant, who plays for UCD Waves in the Women’s National League, has been included in a 23-woman squad for the September 21 qualifier at Tallaght Stadium.
The Championships have been expanded from 12 to 16 games, so Ireland have what represents their best chance of qualifying as the best six runners-up qualifying automatically alongside the hosts – while the remaining place at Holland 2017 will be decided by a play-off between the remaining two group runners up.
“This is a big game for us as Finland are second seeds and, if we are to have any chance of qualifying, we will have to finish in front of them or Spain,” said the Ireland manager, Sue Ronan.
“We have a tough start as we also play Portugal away in October and are at home to Spain in November so it’s important that we get out of the blocks fast and put points on the board.
“With the top two likely to qualify there is a mood of optimism among the players but we have now got to get the job done. It won’t be easy but we are all very determined to give it our all.
“Although it has been a year since we played our last competitive game against Germany, we have been busy having held two training camps in January and August, played four games at the Istria Cup in March, a game against Spain in April and two games against USA and Haiti in May.”
22-year-old Grant, a medical student at UCD, represented Ireland at the World Student Games this summer and has won 15 caps for Ireland.Tags: