Letterkenny native Ciara Grant is part of the Republic of Ireland Women’s 20 strong squad headed for a training camp in La Manga next week as manager Sue Ronan starts preparations for what promises to be a busy and testing year.
Grant helped Raheny United lift the Women’s FAI Cup with an 3-2 extra-time victory over Castlebar Celtic lat the Dublin 4 venue. It retained the trophy following last season’s victory over Peamount United at Dalymount Park.
The Irish ladies already have 11 matches scheduled this year between the on-going FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign and the Cyprus Cup tournament in March and Ronan is determined to leave no stone unturned as she bids to build on the promise shown by her side in 2013.
“We head into 2014 second in our World Cup qualifying group behind Germany and our early season preparations will be focused on the home games in April and May against Germany and Russia respectively. We have started the group well with seven points from three games and those games will be crucial if we want to achieve our objective of securing at least a play-off spot,” said Ronan.
The squad will fly to La Manga on Monday morning and will be based in the Spanish resort for five days during which Ronan intends to work her charges hard.
“This is an ideal opportunity to get the squad together for five days and do a lot of work on the training ground in pleasant weather conditions,” Ronan continued. “I have been very impressed by the eagerness of the squad to improve themselves and I know they are all eagerly looking forward to the camp.”