A talented young Donegal footballer is preparing for a hectic start the New Year with important matches in Holland and Spain between now and the end of January.
Catherine Grier (16) from Aughnish, Ramelton has been selected to represent the Republic of Ireland at the forthcoming Deaf Women’s Futsal European Championship Qualifiers in the Netherlands.
The midfielder has been named on a 14-player squad by Head Coach Dave Bell ahead of games against Italy, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands over three days, from tomorrow, Friday, to Sunday. All games will take place in the Sporthal de Bloemhof, just outside Amsterdam.
If they get through this weekend they will go on to participate in the finals which will be hosted by Finland in December.
Catherine is also going to Madrid on January 28 to play for Doncaster Ladies Deaf squad in the Champions League. One of six Irish players, she is the youngest member of the English team’s squad.
A fifth year student at Mulroy College, Catherine was part of the school team who won the All-Ireland Schools trophy last year. She plays club football with Swilly Rovers and is a member of the Donegal Gaynor Cup Squad together with the Ulster Schools Inter-pro squad.
Catherine’s mother Monica (nee Grier), who was a talented footballer in her youth, is part of the Doncaster backroom team. Her father Alastair is a local farmer. She has two brothers Adam and Andrew while two of her biggest supporters would be her grandparents Pearl and Ivan.
John Diver, PRO, Swilly Rovers said everyone in Ramelton was delighted with Catherine’s success.
Laura Clarke has been named as Irish team captain this weekend in a squad that also includes Continental Tyres Women’s National League player Nathalie O’Brien. The defender was part of the Cork City Womens team that won the FAI Cup last month.
Speaking at the squad announcement, Head Coach Dave Bell said he was hopeful of a strong performance from the team in Holland.
“Although we have never qualified for the finals before, we are hoping the team can qualify for the finals in Finland. With all the good preparation and hard work we have done over the past few months we feel this time we have a very good chance of qualifying,” he said.
The team travel to Amsterdam, with a backroom staff including Bell and his assistant Ben O’Looney, hopeful of a historic tournament for the team.
Republic of Ireland Deaf Women’s Futsal Squad: Denise Doran, Emma Barrow, Ciana Dunne, Rebekah Grant, Catherine Grier, Sabrina Hanley, Aisling Hanly, Laura Clarke (captain), Carmel Heery, Nathalie O’Brien, Jade Kavanagh, Kirsten Kelly, Shauna Hamilton and Helen Ward
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