Ciara returns to Ireland soccer squad

Published 24/11/2015 | 00:00

Ciara Rossiter in acrion in an Under-19 international against Norway last year
Ciara Rossiter in acrion in an Under-19 international against Norway last year

Ciara Rossiter of Wexford Youths has been recalled to the Senior squad for the Euro 2017 qualifier against Spain in Tallaght Stadium on Thursday, November 26, having made her debut against the United States in May.

And she will be joined on the 22-strong squad by club colleagues Claire O'Riordan and Carol Breen. Manager Sue Ronan was RTE's match analyst for the recent FAI Women's Cup final and said: 'I have been impressed by the form shown in recent weeks by Ciara Rossiter'.

After a loss to Finland and a victory over Portugal, Ireland will be looking to put themselves in the mix for first spot in the group with a win against the top seeds.

And now Rossiter is looking to nail down a regular spot. The 19-year-old left back won her first cap last May when she came on as a substitute against U.S.A. in San Jose and, having got a taste of Senior international football, is relishing this latest opportunity.

'It's good to be back in,' she said. 'I was delighted to get the call-up and I just want to prove myself on the pitch now.

'I was delighted that I was picked last May, especially to go to America and play the best team in the world. It was a deadly experience.'

Rossiter admitted she was a bundle of nerves as she got ready to take the field in front of a full house in San Jose in a match that was televised coast to coast in the States and also in Ireland.

'It was nerve-wracking. I was so nervous coming on but, once I got on the pitch, I just forgot about everything around me and just focused on the game. It was grand once I got on.'

Rossiter was a key figure in Wexford Youths' march to the Continental Tyres Women's National League last season and was named on the team of the year as well as picking up the young player of the year award.

That was good enough to earn her the call to go the U.S.A. and also to the World Student Games in South Korea in June, and there were certainly no eyebrows raised when Ronan called Rossiter in for this week's Euro 2017 qualifier against Spain game following her display in the Continental Tyres FAI Women's Cup final at the Aviva Stadium two weeks ago.

Wexford beat Shelbourne on penalties to claim their first FAI Cup and complete a 2015 League and Cup double, and Rossiter admitted she is still on a high since the game. 'Even though we didn't play at our best it was still a top-class game. Shelbourne were always going to be tough opposition and there is a great rivalry between us,' said Rossiter who scored a last-minute equaliser to send the game into extra-time.

'We never really gave up but, coming towards the end, I looked up and saw 90 minutes and I got disheartened.

'But we never gave up and that's when I got the goal. It was a good moment but I didn't really think about it too much at the time because I wanted to win so badly.

'When Shelbourne equalised at the end of extra-time I had forgotten it would go to penalties because we wanted it so badly. It was our first time in the Aviva and we had worked so hard to get there that we didn't want to lose. We had the passion and desire to win and we weren't coming out of there without a win.'

Rossiter was due to take Wexford's fifth penalty but admits she was glad it didn't come down to that as four successfully converted spot kicks ensured they won the shoot-out 4-1 after a 2-2 draw and triggered another day of celebration for Wexford Youths, a few weeks after the men won the SSE Airtricity League First Division.

'It is great at the moment. There is a deadly atmosphere around the whole club and throughout Wexford. There is so much support for us and it's great.

Rossiter didn't make the first two squad of the Euro 2017 campaign but was watching keenly as Ireland opened with a home defeat to Finland before going to Portugal and coming back with three points.

'It was brilliant to get the win in Portugal. It was disappointing to lose to Finland so it was great to pick ourselves up. We will be ready for Spain now. They are a top-class team. It is going to be a tough game but hopefully we can get a result out of it.'

Wexford People

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