U21 Women’s Head Coach David Passmore has selected a large squad to play against America in three matches to be hosted by St Gerard’s School in Bray later this month. Passmore has opted for a large squad given the placement in the domestic calendar with the fixture congestion caused by the number of postponements due to the weather. Passmore noted “it is great that the America squad have chosen Ireland to visit at this time as it will allow us to assess a large number of players over the three matches. We are delighted that St Gerard’s have agreed to host these matches at their excellent facilities and we thank them for that”.
The squad sees a number of new faces to the international scene including Jenny Clein and Hannah Humphries from UCC. Other young additions include Emma Young who has impressed during her first season at UCD and top sprinter Niamh Gowing who has been in form this year for Mount Anville School. Commenting on the selection Passmore commented that “I have watched a number of Inter-varsity, school and club matches and also taken on board suggestions from the coaches themselves and we are still assessing a number of players. We have included the likes of Rebecca Mercer from Belfast Harlequins who we did not get the opportunity to see before and who has impressed with her club. It is important that the door remains open for all players and we have included over 40 athletes during our early training sessions this year”.
The three match series starts on Sunday 25th March with further matches on Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th with Passmore expected to rotate the squad. “It is great to play against the States who will unquestionably bring a fit and athletic squad that will test our young players. It is only through these types of series that players can really be viewed from an international perspective to see if the can cope with the speed of the game both physically and in their ability to make good decisions under pressure”. The importance of having quality programmes in all years of player’s development is crucial and the matches provide an ideal opportunity to start the U21 programme building towards the European Nations Championship next year. Passmore also revealed that the squad will be expanded to U23 during June and July including a six nations tournament in Antwerp in Belgium which allows for up to six players aged between 21-23. “Our programmes have to be about player development as well as team development and the tournament will provide the opportunity for any players stuck between U21 and senior squads, or on the periphery of the senior squad to have more international exposure”. With the likes of India, The Netherlands and Great Britain U23s in the tournament it will be a tough task. The U21s also have two matches series against England U21s now coached by former men’s boss Paul Revington including a three match series in Belfast in August when any U18 players can join the group for the first time.
Ireland U21 v USA
Curran (Co Captain)
Getty (Co Captain)
Russell (Vice Captain)
Provisional match times against USA:
Sun 25 March 15:30, Tues 27 March 16:30 and Weds 28 March 14:30 (match times are provisional and may change)
U21 (and U23) Programme 2018
25-28 March Three match U21 series v USA U21s at St Gerard’s School, Bray
15-17 June Two match U21 series v England U21s at Lilleshall NSC
29- June – 1 July Three match U23 series v Wales Development at Trinity Sports
Grounds, Santry, Dublin
14-21 July U23 Alternative World Cup Tournament in Antwerp
9-12 August Three match U21 series v England U21 in Belfast (venue TBC)