LOIW contenders for the new WNT campaign

3rd September 2023

Here is a list of 11 uncapped players who could catch the eye of the Ireland Women’s National Team ahead of their UEFA Women’s Nations League campaign kicks off in September.

Here is a list of 11 uncapped players who could catch the eye of the Ireland Women’s National Team ahead of their UEFA Women’s Nations League campaign kicks off in September.

Katie Keane (Athlone Town)
The main target for Keane will simply to play at Athlone and show that she can adapt to senior football. If that happens, then there is no reason why she cannot become the rising star amongst the home-based goalkeepers. She was previously called into an international camp so clearly she is being scouted regularly by the Ireland WNT set-up.

Mia Dodd (Bohemians)
The mid-season break probably arrived at a bad time for Dodd as she was in sensational form just before it. The challenge now is to raise her performances up again and add a sprinkling of stardust to them – what means is crucial goals, accurate assists and clever game management.

Eva Mangan (Cork City)
Surely the next step for Mangan is to discover if she can excel at a higher level. She has been consistently outstanding for Cork over the last few seasons but there is a feeling that there is even more to her game that hasn’t been revealed yet. Getting the opportunity to test herself against full-time professionals could help show off her true ability.

Eve O’Brien (DLR Waves)
Perhaps the first goal for O’Brien should be to earn a call-up to the WNT Home-Based Training Sessions in the FAI National Training Centre. If she can get in amongst the League’s best players then she can show the WNT coaching staff what she can do – and, crucially, what her best position is on the pitch.

Jenna Slattery (Galway United)
There is an aggressive side to Slattery’s play that would see her fit in well amongst the current WNT squad. She wants to win games and she is ready to fight for it. Galway have benefitted from that attitude this season and she picked up a Player of the Month award as a result. She deserves a closer look.

Lauryn O’Callaghan (Peamount United)
There are a few contenders for the right-back position with Shelbourne’s Keeva Keenan and Shamrock Rovers’ Jess Gargan also in the mix – especially since Áine O’Gorman retired from international duty – but O’Callaghan has been consistently excellent and could thrive at a higher level.

Jaime Thompson (Shamrock Rovers)
One has to remember that this is still Thompson’s first season at senior level. She has been superb since getting the chance to play with freedom in Collie O’Neill’s side and was even on the standby list for WNT FIFA Women’s World Cup squad because of it. If she can keep learning from O’Niell, and the players around her, the future will remain very bright.

Hannah Healy (Shelbourne)
Only fresh to the League but when a player is as talented as Healy is then there is always going to be a case made for inclusion amongst the best players. She is already showing that she can play for the champions, so the next logical step is exposure to the WNT set-up – even if time spent with the WU19s would be a better route right now.

Emma Doherty (Sligo Rovers)
This Donegal native showed a lot of maturity in leading the Ireland WU19s as captain last term and she has added a lot to her game with her hold-up play. Still, Doherty is at her best when breaking through defensive lines and finishing off chances in front of goal. She most definitely has the ability to raise her game to another level.

Cara Griffin (Treaty United)
There is something about Griffin that can get football fans on the edge of their seats and any player who posesses that kind of magic deserves closer attention. She needs to be more consistent and improve her finishing in front of goal, but that should come with better players around her in Alban Hysa’s new-look side. One to keep an eye out for.

Orlaith Conlon (Wexford Youths)
Rarely does Conlon come into consideration for Player of the Match awards, but just because she isn’t a playmaker or goalscorer doesn’t mean she isn’t a key player for Wexford. A steady defender who gets forward on supporting runs, she is reliable and has a knack of keeping attacking players quiet on her side of the pitch.