Leanne Kiernan Returns For Wales Friendlies

Cavan’s Leanne Kiernan has returned from injury for the Irish Women’s squad for two friendlies with Wales.

Ireland Women’s Head Coach Colin Bell has selected a 20-player squad for the double-header in Marbella, Spain on Tuesday, February 26 for two international friendlies on Thursday, February 28 and Tuesday, March 5.

Manchester City defender Megan Campbell has been named in the squad for the first time since the 2-0 win over Slovakia in October, 2017.

The 25-year old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in an UEFA Women’s Champions League match against LSK Kvinner FK in November 2017 and made a return for Manchester City this month.

West Ham United striker Kiernan has also returned to the squad after missing the Belgium friendly through injury and Le Havre goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan has been recalled to the squad.

Ireland are set to play two of the three international friendlies lined this year next week ahead of the start of the UEFA 2021 European Championships qualifying in September.

“It’s going to be an important week and after finding out our opponents for the qualifying campaign, it definitely adds an extra importance on the two games,” said Head Coach Colin Bell.

Ireland were placed in Group I and will face Germany, Ukraine, Greece and Montenegro in their bid to qualify for their first-ever major international tournament.

“Wales are an excellent opponent for us to face” explained Bell. “They were second seeds in the draw, and they’re exactly the type of opposition we will need to beat in qualifying if we’re going to make our first international tournament.“

“The players have made incredible progress but we need to keep that intensity up as we build towards September.

“I’m delighted to see Megan Campbell return to the squad. Megan is a crucial player for us and she’s had to show real resilience to get through her injury and it’s great to have her back involved for the two games.”

Republic of Ireland WNT squad v Wales

Goalkeeepers: Marie Hourihan (Brighton & Hove Albion), Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (Le Harve)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Heather Payne (Bristol City), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisberg), Megan Campbell (Manchester City), Eabha O’Mahony (Cork City)

Midfielders: Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Tyler Toland (Kildrum Tigers), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne)

Forwards: Amber Barrett (Peamount United), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal)

Fixtures – International Friendlies

28/02: Wales v Republic of Ireland, Marbella Football Centre, 3pm (4pm local time)

05/03: Wales v Republic of Ireland, Estadio Municipal de Marbella, 12pm (1pm local time)