Alex Kavanagh says the Republic of Ireland Women’s Under 17s can dare to dream about reaching the UEFA European Championships because they are prepared to fight for it.
Victories against Ukraine, Andorra, and Turkey saw Dave Bell’s team top Group 1 in their UEFA European Championships Qualifying Round and secure passage through to the Elite Round.
The long-term target is reaching next summer’s finals tournament in Belarus and Kavanagh – who scored twice in their three games in Izmir – believes that they can go all of the way.
“We showed great character in our three games and I think that was important. We had a tough group but we went into it wanting to finish on top and we did that,” says Kavanagh.
“We have a great team and a great squad. We are a good footballing team and we improved with each game. As we get to train more together we will get even better and get closer to the finals.
“We know that won’t be easy and that we will have to work hard to get through the Elite Round, but we have a great team bond and we are getting better all of the time as a team.”
Kavanagh was one of eight different goalscorers in Turkey as Bell used his full panel of 18 players, while other impressive statistics include 13 goals scored, none conceded, and 60 shots unloaded at goal.
Still, Bell acknowledges that there is room for improvement and Kavanagh, who plays with Shelbourne Ladies FC, states that the chemistry in the squad proved to be a key factor in their success.
“We qualified for the Elite Round by playing football; it wasn’t like we were lucky, we worked hard in every game and we’re happy that we played as a team,” she says.
“I think it’s important to have that bond in the squad because other teams didn’t have it and it showed on the pitch. We worked hard in training and listened to everything Dave (Bell) told us.
“It’s unbelievable to win our three games and top the group but we want to keep going now and get ready for the Elite Round.”
The draw for the Elite Round will take place on December 10 with the games being hosted early next year.
Click on the matches below to watch highlights from the games
Republic of Ireland WU17 3-0 Ukraine WU17
Republic of Ireland WU17 7-0 Andorra WU17
Republic of Ireland WU17 3-0 Turkey WU17
Hi all, are you interested in becoming an Athletics Coach? Due to a number of cancellations we have limited spaces available on our Little Athletics course taking place this Friday. Please see flyer for details and get in touch to book your place. Only 5 places available.
Rowing Ireland are running an Inaugural Indoor Rowing Schools blitz for u/14 and u/15 in Trinity College, College Green on Friday 13th November. Its part of their Women in Sport initiative that's run and its to get schools and more importantly girls the opportunity to race against each other, in addition to giving them visually of Trinity and university life, through the eyes of sport.
There will be a a bus coming from Carlow, Limerick, Cork and Galway
Here is a clip that a PE teacher took of one that was done in Carlow last year:
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By Alex Sherwood
Hockey Ireland has been awarded the right to host both the U18 Girls and U18 Boys Eurohockey Championships! The tournament will take place in Cork from Sunday 24th till Saturday 30th July 2016.
Both the Irish U18 Boys and U18 Girls squads will take part in the tournament that will see the best young players from around Europe competing against each other. This year the Irish U18 Girls stormed to victory in Mori at the Eurohockey Championships II to earn themselves promotion to the top division, while the U18 boys had an equally impressive run and finished in 5th place in Santander.
The awarding of this tournament means that Ireland will host a major international hockey tournament for 3 consecutive years; Women’s World League 2 March 2015, U18 Eurohockey Championships 2016, and Men’s World League 2 in 2017. Such an achievement is a testament to the success of our national squads, at all ages, as well as the growth of our sport all across the country. It is also a vote of confidence in Hockey Ireland’s ability to host an international tournament to the highest standard.
Hockey Ireland CEO Mike Heskin said “This is a great achievement for Hockey Ireland to be awarded another international tournament. It is testament to the product we deliver and I thank all the staff and volunteers who are key to that delivery. We’re very much looking forward to hosting the tournament in Cork and showcasing the highest level of youth hockey, many of these players will be the stars of the future”.
The participating teams for the boy’s tournament are:
The participating teams for the girl’s tournament are: