ZOE GREEN IS AIMING FOR another clean sheet tomorrow as the Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-17s target a place in the UEFA European Championships Elite Round.
The Lagan Harps left-back has been to the fore as Ireland have started their qualifying group in style.
It’s been an enjoyable few days for the Green family, who made the trip to Turkey to cheer Zoe on.
Her father, Paddy, is a well-known electrician and her mother, Ann, works in Dunne’s Stores. They and her brother, Christopher, have made travelled to the waters of the Aegean Sea.
“It is brilliant to have them here,” Green told Donegal Sport Hub.
“I want to do them proud and make sure I’m in the starting 11 for each game.
“My family have travelled to watch some of my games, like the game against Northern Ireland and an Under 16s tournament, but this is the furthest that they have travelled so far. It’s great to have the here and I want to do them proud.”
Green was first capped for Ireland last year by Sharon Boyle when she played in the UEFA Under-16 European Development Tournament against Czech Republic, Denmark and Austria.
Green began as a midfielder with Lagan but is now at home at left-back.
“I think it’s my best position,” she said.
“I look up to certain players, even some who don’t play in the same position, like Seamus Coleman, because he is a great player and someone who I can learn a lot from.
“As a left-back, I want to make sure that the team does not concede any goals. We haven’t conceded yet and we want to finish these games top of the group with nine points and having not conceded a goal.”
On Thursday, Lauren Kelly, Alex Kavanagh and Leanne Kiernan netted the goals in a 3-0 win over Ukraine, while Kelly, Heather Payne (2), Lauren Homan, Saoirse Noonan, Tiegan Ruddy and Leah Reybet-Degat scored in Saturday’s hammering of Andorra.
Now the hosts, Turkey are next up, but Green is optimistic.
She said: “It’s important that we stay tight as a back five unit. We like to play out from the back too but we have to stay focused on defending, working together as a unit, and doing our best in our final game against Turkey.
“The Turkey game is going to be tough but we want to win it. We want to keep a clean sheet and I want to help the forwards as much as I can. We want to top the group and do it by sticking together.”
This summer, Green was part of the Irish squad that played in the Milk Cup while she played in two friendlies against Scotland in September.
Despite her young age, she has just finished her second season with the Lagan Harps senior team having risen through the ranks at Brid McGinty’s Orchard Park nursery of ladies football.
Green was the Donegal Women’s League’s Under-14 Player of the Year in 2013 and in 2014l she won an FAI Schools Senior B All-Ireland with Mulroy College.
Having come through a rigorous trials process, Green was on by new manager Bell and has made the number 3 shirt her own.
“Dave does a lot of work with us in training about movement and he encourages us as full-backs to push forward as much as possible to get up to support the forwards,” she said.
“We work hard in training and we want to bring that into the games. We want to give something back to Dave for all of his work with us and prove that we are good enough to play for Ireland at this level and put into practice what we worked on in training.
“You need to have a well-bonded team so that everyone supports each other and it’s not just one player on their own.
“We stick tight together and if someone isn’t playing well we pick them up and help them. It’s important that we play together as a unit and as a team.”Tags: