Ciara Grant in action for Shelbourne. PICTURE: PIARAS Ó Midheach/SPORTSFILE
Three Donegal players are in the Republic of Ireland women’s national team squad for a friendly double-header away to Iceland this week.
Two players earning international recalls, and their first inclusions since manager Vera Pauw took charge, are midfielders Ciara Grant from Letterkenny and Roma McLaughlin from Inishowen.
The duo have amassed 15 and five senior caps respectively.
Grant has stood out for Shelbourne since resuming her SSE Airtricity Women’s National League career last year after spending time to focus on becoming a doctor. The Donegal native filled in as team doctor with Ireland in March 2020.
McLaughlin was recently selected to the Division 1 Women’s Soccer All-America Third Team for the second successive year after helping Central Connecticut State University retain the NEC Women’s Soccer Championship.
Milford’s Amber Barrett, who plays with German side FC Koln, is also in the squad.
However, there is still no place in the squad for talented 19-year-old St. Johnston player, Tyler Toland.
Pauw has stated that the necessary phone call confirming her availability still hadn’t been forthcoming.
Toland, on loan at Glasgow City from Manchester City, has featured seven times on loan at Glasgow City but hasn’t figured recently.
And she wasn’t in the Glasgow City team that beat Rangers 2-0 on Sunday to become the Scottish Building Society SWPL1 Champions for 2020-21.
Toland was an ever-present for Pauw’s predecessor Colin Bell.
Earlier this year there was some publicity on Toland’s absence from the squad with Pauw accusing Toland’s father Maurice of “harassment and intimidation”.
He has rejected this allegation, but the matter continues to rumble on.
Indeed, the Irish Times reported that Pauw had stuck by her position, suggesting the men’s team manager would not have been subjected to such an approach.
“Do you think Tyler’s father would have said this to Stephen Kenny?” she responded when asked at the squad announcement press conference.
“From my 30 years of experience, that would never happen. Women coaches in football have it harder than male coaches, let’s say it like that.
“We say that we need to have elephant skin.”
Pauw also said that she intended to “save” Toland’s career.
The friendlies are on Friday and then Monday week, June 14th, will be played in Laugardalsvollur, Reykjavik and kick off at 6pm, Irish time.
Republic of Ireland WNT Squad
Goalkeepers: Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (Unattached), Eve Badana (DLR Waves)
Defenders: Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Niamh Farrelly (Glasgow City), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Éabha O’Mahony (Cork City), Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United)
Midfielders: Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciara Grant (Shelbourne), Roma McLaughlin (Connecticut Fusion), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal). Forwards: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Rianna Jarrett (Unattached), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Saoirse Noonan (Shelbourne).
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