REPUBLIC OF IRELAND MANAGER Vera Pauw has admitted that not being able to play a send-off game at the Aviva Stadium is a 'shame', but also claimed that the feel-good factor in the squad won't go away.
Ireland plays France on the 6 July in what will be their final warmup game before jetting off to their first World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Pauw and the squad had hoped that that game against France would take place at the 51,700-seater stadium, but that dream won't happen.
FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said last week that playing the game at the Aviva Stadium would not be possible because of 'scheduled pitch redevelopment work'.
Pauw speaking to the media today for her squad announcement ahead of the game against China on the 22nd of this month, said that it was disappointing but that other venues have been touted for the game.
"The very special thing about this group is that they do not perform less or different when they play for five spectators or when the stadium is full.
Vera Pauw says it is a 'shame' Ireland won't have World Cup send-off at Aviva Stadium https://t.co/yjOSSt6SMW
— Paul O'Hehir (@paulohehir) February 10, 2023
"We saw that in Sweden, we've seen it in Finland, we see it in Tallaght Stadium… so I’m not concerned about that at all. We did investigate it and tried and tried and tried to see if we could move the schedule because it would have been a massive opportunity to try and have the send-off game [in the Aviva], but not so much as preparation, more so that Ireland can see us. Hopefully, the new stand will be ready [in Tallaght].
"It’s our home ground, we feel happy there. We tried, it’s not possible, but we will make a massive party of it in Tallaght Stadium.
"We tried the RDS Stadium as an alternative and that wasn’t available either. I’m not sure if the stand will be ready by then but we will make a massive moment of it.
"We’ve done everything. We’ve tried to discuss the maintenance schedule. It’s a shame. But we’re happy at Tallaght Stadium."
Ireland play China in a friendly on the February 22
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD announced Friday 10th
Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Megan Walsh (Brighton & Hove Albion), Grace Moloney (Reading), Naoisha McAloon (Durham WFC)
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Diane Caldwell (Reading), Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Hayley Nolan (London City Lionesses), Claire Walsh (Glasgow City), Megan Campbell (Liverpool), Áine O'Gorman (Shamrock Rovers), Aoife Mannion (Manchester United)
Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ruesha Littlejohn (Aston Villa), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Lily Agg (London City Lionesses), Ciara Grant (Hearts), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City), Isibeal Atkinson (West Ham United)
Forwards: Amber Barrett (Potsdam Turbine), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Kyra Carusa (London City Lionesses), Abbie Larkin (Shamrock Rovers), Marissa Sheva (Washington Spirit)