Ireland’s hopes for European soccer glory remain alive, thanks to the women's team. Turner’s Cross is the venue tomorrow (Saturday) for the first of two crucial qualifiers in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 Championships. Knocknaheeny’s Denise O’Sullivan will have a starring role, despite having completed her final Leaving Certificate exam just yesterday…
While the Irish senior soccer squad’s fortunes in Euro 2012 were up in the air at press time, Sue Ronan’s Republic of Ireland women’s side have all to play for in their efforts to get to the UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 Championships; and their fate will be decided in two qualifiers at the home of Cork soccer, Turner’s Cross, over the next week.
The side will play Wales tomorrow (Saturday) at 5pm, and Scotland next Thursday at 7.30pm. Particularly relishing the prospect of representing the nation at Turner’s Cross is Denise O’Sullivan of Cork Women’s FC.
Denise (18) has a great pedigree at international level. Aged just 17, she played in the quarter-finals of the 2010 U17 Women’s World Cup, and in her first game at senior level last September, bagged the goals in a 2-0 victory over Wales in a Women’s Euro 2013 qualifier at Newport Stadium. She also scored one in the team’s subsequent 2-0 defeat of Israel, and almost had the beating of Scotland at Edinburgh in April overcame the one-goal margin in the 85th minute to run out 2-1 winners.
“They got two goals in one minute,” Denise recalls. “I think we just lost concentration, and they got one, the heads dropped, and they got another. Scotland were playing at home, so they had a good crowd and that helped them. But what can you do? You can’t dwell on defeats like that; you have to move on,” Denise said.
Speaking to The Cork News on Wednesday, Denise was returning from training with her teammates at Fota Island Resort to study for her final Leaving Certificate examination in business at Terence McSwiney Community College yesterday. Just as she is undaunted by the prospect of lining out for Ireland this weekend, neither does she betray any nervousness about the dreaded Leaving.