Two more added to Ireland squad as Megan Walsh and Jess Ziu join up for World Cup qualifiers

Mon, Nov 22 2021
Jess Ziu (left) on the ball for Shels against Athlone Town in June

Jess Ziu (left) on the ball for Shels against Athlone Town in June Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

Having added three players to her squad on Monday morning, in the afternoon news arrived of two further additions to Vera Pauw’s Republi of Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Georgia.

A fourth Shelbourne player was added to the squad as Jess Ziu joined Jesse Stapleton, who was named in the squad earlier in the day, Ciara Grant and Saoirse Noonan from the WNL Champions.

There was also confirmation that goalkeeper Megan Walsh had made the switch from England to the Republic of Ireland. 

The Brighton & Hove Albion ‘keeper previously represented England at Under-17, U-19 & U-23 level but having been granted FIFA international clearance has make the switch to the Girls in Green.

The goalkeeper, who holds the WSL record for most saves, qualifies for Ireland through her Wexford-born grandfather.

"It is a real honour and privilege to be called up into the Ireland squad,” said Walsh. “I was with Rianna Jarrett, Denise O'Sullivan and Megan Connolly at Brighton last year when my Irish heritage came up and things went from there.

"It has taken about 12 months to finally get here. I am excited at the opportunity to be part of the Irish Women's Team and to work with Vera (Pauw).

"My Grandparents, on my Dad's side, were from Enniscorthy, County Wexford, where we still have family. I know they would be so proud of me being part of the Women's National Team."

The 27-year-old has played with Aston Villa, Everton, Notts County, Yeovil Town and Brighton & Hove Albion, where she has been a regular starter since 2019.

She joins goalkeepers Grace Moloney and Courtney Brosnan in the current squad.

"I realise I will have to fight hard for a place on the team but that’s always the case in elite football and I have had to do that wherever I have been in football," said Walsh.

"The main thing is to qualify for the World Cup and I know all the squad will want to make sure we get out of the Group."

Republic of Ireland WNT Squad
Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading), Megan Walsh (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Defenders: Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Jessie Stapleton (Shelbourne), Savannah McCarthy (Galway WFC), Éabha O'Mahony (Boston College), Áine O'Gorman (Peamount United)
Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Niamh Farrelly (Glasgow City), Ciara Grant (Shelbourne), Aoibheann Clancy (Wexford Youths), Roma McLaughlin (Central Connecticut State University), Jess Ziu (Shelbourne)
Forwards: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Kyra Carusa (HB Koge), Emily Whelan (Birmingham City) Isibeal Atkinson (Celtic), Saoirse Noonan (Shelbourne), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City) 






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