Arsenal's Katie McCabe named new Republic of Ireland senior captain

Sun, Aug 06 2017

21-year-old McCabe made her international debut against Finland just two years ago. Credit: Laszlo Geczo (ETPhotos)

Katie McCabe has today been named as the new Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team captain by manager Colin Bell.


The 21-year-old, who is currently on loan at Glasgow City FC from Arsenal Ladies, takes over the armband from Emma Byrne, who announced her retirement yesterday.


Diane Caldwell has been named vice-captain.


Manager Colin Bell believes McCabe has all the right attributes to push the team forward as they prepare for the 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins in September.


“Katie has been a player I've really enjoyed working with during my time as Head Coach in Ireland,” Bell told the FAI's official website.


The former Raheny United and Shelbourne Ladies forward made her international debut in 2015 against Hungary at the Istria Cup under then-manager Sue Ronan.


McCabe has been a regular in the Irish side since her breakthrough to the senior squad and scored the only goal of the game when Ireland beat Wales in the Cyprus Cup earlier this year.


“On the pitch, she is one of the best players in the team and already leads from the front with her excellent ability and performances, which we've seen already this year,” Bell said.


“Off the pitch, I want to see her grow into the role of captain and lead the team forward.


“It's an important role and I believe she has all the right attributes to push this team forward as we head into the 2019 World Cup qualification campaign.”


“She's a great character who all the players respond to and I know the rest of the squad will be right behind her as she steps into the captain's role.”


McCabe has expressed her delight at been selected as the new captain and paid tribute to predecessor Emma Byrne.


“It's a huge honour to have been selected to be captain of the national team,” the Tallaght native said.


“It's a huge moment for me personally but also my family who have always supported me on my football journey.”


“I'd like to also thank Emma Byrne for her guidance and leadership as captain over the last few years, and I hope I can fill her boots for the team,” McCabe said.


Ireland’s 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign will see them take on Northern Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands, Slovakia and McCabe hopes she will be the woman to lead the side to their first major championships.


“I can't wait to lead out the team in the upcoming World Cup qualifier and hopefully lead the Republic of Ireland WNT to their first major Championships.”


“I'd like to thank Head Coach Colin Bell for the faith he has shown in me and I'll be looking to repay that faith over the years.”