Megan Connolly: We can’t shrink back from World Cup dream

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Video games with Sweden will at all times evoke fantastic recollections for Republic of Eire midfielder Megan Connolly and he or she is hoping so as to add one other in Thursday’s World Cup qualifier at Tallaght Stadium.

It was again in 2014 when the Brighton participant stepped as much as a free-kick 10 minutes from time of their Euro Underneath-19 Group B sport towards the Swedes in Norway. Connolly took two steps to the ball and curled a fantastic effort that kissed the publish on the way in which in. She had already began celebrating earlier than the ball had hit the online.

A 4-0 semi-final defeat to the Netherlands ended the facet’s match however from the squad that earned victory towards Sweden, Connolly, Savannah McCarthy, who scored the equaliser within the 2-1 win, Katie McCabe and Roma McLaughlin are all in Vera Pauw’s panel for Thursday’s sport in addition to the 26 October conflict with Finland in Helsinki.

The Brighton midfielders is trying ahead to renewing acquaintances.

“On the Olympics there they have been probably the greatest groups,” she mentioned. “There’s no underestimating them, they’re probably the greatest groups on the earth.

Irish supervisor Vera Pauw chats with followers at a coaching session on Monday

“We’re going to arrange as greatest we will and convey every thing we will to the pitch on Thursday and see what can occur.”

That summer time in 2014 has satisfied the Cork-born participant that Eire have the power to compete at main tournaments.

The expansion of the sport since enhances her perception that momentum is quickly constructing.

A bunch containing Sweden, Finland and Slovakia supplies a tough path to a first-ever Ladies’s World Cup, however Connolly is remaining hopeful.

“Final time (Euro 2022) we have been so shut and I feel it’s one thing we’re eager for as a nation, to qualify for an enormous match.

“We got here up brief the final time and it’s one thing we wish to obtain. Yeah, we’re not going to shrink back from saying that we wish to make the World Cup, we wish to be that staff, why can’t we be that staff that qualifies?

“However it’s going to be powerful. Have a look at the group, you see Sweden, Finland, Georgia, Slovakia, they’re powerful groups. We’re simply going to must take it sport by sport. Try this, get some factors on the board and hopefully we might be that staff.”

“I’m nonetheless fairly younger so I’ve regarded as much as older gamers for fairly a very long time, Niamh Fahey, Louise Quinn, Ciara Grant, all gamers which have come earlier than me,” Connolly continued.

“I actually regarded as much as them, they paved the way in which and I feel this technology is the staff that desires to go even additional and qualify for a match so then the youthful ones comprehend it’s achievable and one thing we will do.

“I feel for everybody within the staff it’s one thing we dream of, it’s one thing you need, it’s one thing that doesn’t come usually or ever to a nation like us.

“However I feel we have now improved lots previously years, and I feel we’re getting nearer and nearer.”

One more reason for Connolly’s perception is the sheer variety of Irish gamers enjoying top-level soccer at the moment.

Eight of Pauw’s squad are at the moment competing in England’s Ladies’s Tremendous League whereas the remaining are enjoying at a excessive degree in Eire, Scotland, America or Germany.

The Irish U19 gamers have fun Megan Connolly’s winner towards Sweden in 2014

“I feel numerous gamers in current occasions have taken that step to play on the highest degree.

“We see numerous women coming over to England and I feel that’s essential for us and it’s solely going to assist us in making that subsequent step by testing themselves within the hardest surroundings.

“It’s nice to see gamers attaining what they’ve and it’s solely going to assist us. Gamers are getting minutes, enjoying and scoring.”

Connolly returns to the squad having missed the Australia pleasant win final month with a calf pressure. Though pissed off at having to look at from afar, she feels that getting a win towards higher-ranked opposition was the proper tonic for the Sweden conflict.

“It was nice to look at to see them get the outcome that we’ve needed for a very long time, to get a outcome towards a tough staff.

“The staff deserved it, it was a great outcome actually and good to look at.”

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