Ireland make their FIFA Women’s World Cup debut against Australia on Thursday morning Irish time.
While it’s a debut for Ireland, Australia are taking part in their eighth FIFA Women’s World Cup. It’s also their eighth in a row, with the only tournament they missed being the inaugural edition in 1991.
Ireland are however up against it, in front of an 82,500-capacity Stadium Australia. There are 12 places between the two teams in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. Australia are currently 10th while Ireland are 22nd.
However, the girls in green have a fully fit squad to select from with midfielder Denise O’Sullivan having come through training sessions in recent days following an injury scare.
“As a team, we have always held the belief that something only appears to be impossible the moment it proves to be impossible” explained manager Vera Pauw.
“What that means is that you must believe in yourself, embrace tougher challenges and step forward to trust that you are ready to fulfil your dreams”.
“We did just that to qualify for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023; now we must be brave once again to make the most of this fantastic opportunity of competing in the world’s best competition”.
“We might be on the other side of the world, but we feel the support of everyone in Ireland. We stand on the shoulders of the players, coaches, staff members and officials who drove women and girls’ football forward over the last 50 years”.
Hopes and dreams
“We carry the hopes of girls and boys wanting their heroes to perform well. We get to show that the endless hours of coaching and encouragement from Grassroots volunteers that helped to shape our players was worth it. And we are able to give back to those in Irish football who have helped shape this incredible journey”.
“Our preparation is complete. Our motivation is intact. And our game-plan is set. We are ready. We just hope that we can do the people of Ireland proud. This is our time.”
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
Australia v Ireland
Thursday, July 20
Stadium Australia, Sydney
KO 20:00 (11:00 Irish Time)
Referee: Edina Alves (Brazil)