McCabe happy to see Ireland levels go up

McCabe happy to see Ireland levels go up

Ireland captain Katie McCabe has claimed that the level of intensity and training within the Ireland women's camp has gone up under Eileen Gleeson. The Girls in Green won six from six in the Nations League group under Gleeson last year, and last Friday, they drew 0-0 with Italy. The improvement also comes after the current generation of Irish players made it to their first ever World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023. 

McCabe of Arsenal believes that the strength of the group is really showing, even if regulars like Denise O'Sullivan are on the sidelines. This is something that has impressed McCabe coming into this Ireland camp

"You see, the levels have just gone up a notch each time we come into camp," McCabe said. 

"I know we’re missing Denise [O’Sullivan], Sinead [Farrelly], and Tyler [Toland], but the introductions of Jess Ziu, for example, show our strength.

"She’s been out for 17 months, and having her back was a real breath of fresh air. We have such young, fresh and exciting talent.

"You see Izzy Atkinson getting her first start as well. And Abbie Larkin is coming off the bench, as is Leanne Kiernan. There are all these names being talked about, which is so exciting for me."

The Dubliner also claims that the Ireland squad was in such a "groove" during the Nations League campaign and did not want the momentum to stop. However, McCabe has claimed the break and reset has allowed them to refocus on the upcoming Euro qualifiers

"Because you can see the talent they have and now it is just about all of us getting up to the level of performing consistently each time we come in.

"And I feel like we’re really starting to get into a groove with that. We almost didn’t want to take a break after the Nations League because we were feeling really good.

"But at the same time, it was also nice to reset and refocus and come back here hungry for the next camp, which will be Euro qualifiers."

Having drawn away to Italy in Florence last Friday, Eileen Gleeson’s team will now aim to make the most of their last preparation game before the UEFA EURO 2025 qualifiers kick off.

"We're expecting a really tough game. Wales have a lot of experience in League A," said Gleeson on Monday.

"They didn't stay in, but they have come up against a lot of top teams. We're expecting them to be very quick on the transition.

"They've got some real quality players like ourselves, so we're expecting a tough test and a good benchmark in preparation for the Euros."

MATCH DETAILSInternational FriendlyIreland v CymruTuesday, February 27Tallaght StadiumKO 19:30LIVE on RTÉ2 MATCH OFFICIALSReferee | Frida Mia Klarlund (Denmark)Assistant Referee 1 | Fie Bruun (Denmark)Assistant Referee 2 | Monica Brun Lokkeberg (Norway)Fourth Official | Michelle O’Neill (Ireland) TEAM NEWSIreland have a fully fit squad to choose from.