Kilkenny's Karen Duggan can look forward to a clash with Northern Ireland after the Republic of Ireland's women's team learned their World Cup qualifying fate today
The Piltown native is certain to be part of manager Colin Bell's side who will face Norway, Netherlands, Slovakia and Northern Ireland in Group Three with the campaign set to start with a trip to Northern Ireland on Tuesday, September 19th.
Top seed Norway will feature at this summer's UEFA Women's European Championships in the Netherlands and were unbeaten throughout their qualification campaign, having won seven and drawn one of their group games.
Netherlands will also feature at the Championships as the home nation and they also qualified for the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada where they reached the last 16 stage of the competition.
Ireland recently claimed a 1-0 victory over Slovakia at Tallaght Stadium in an international friendly and Ireland last played Northern Ireland in the Cyprus Cup in 2013 where Ireland claimed a 5-1 win.
WNT Head Coach Colin Bell said: "Obviously, the draw is something you can't influence but looking at it, it's good for us logistically. There will be a bit of travelling with Slovakia but with the other nations, they're all pretty close which is great.
"I know Norway well having worked over there before and they've plenty of top players throughout the squad. Ada Hegerberg is one of the best strikers in the world and they've got plenty of quality on the wings as well.
"Netherlands have really come on in the last year or so and have a number of players who will be able to create problems for any team in the world so we're under no illusions that it will be tough.
"It will be a great occasion to play Northern Ireland and it will create a great atmosphere when we play them at home and away so I'm really looking forward to it. We've recently played Slovakia and they had a few players missing so they'll also present us with a tough task.
"It'll all be in our preparation though and we've got to use the next friendly games to continue our good form to make sure we're in the strongest possible position going into the qualifying stage."
Republic of Ireland WNT Fixture Schedule - FIFA 2019 Women's World Cup Qualifying
19 September, 2017: Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland
24 October, 2017: Slovakia v Republic of Ireland
28 November, 2017: Netherlands v Republic of Ireland
6 April, 2018: Republic of Ireland v Slovakia
10 April, 2018: Republic of Ireland v Netherlands
8 June, 2018: Republic of Ireland v Norway
12 June, 2018: Norway v Republic of Ireland
31 August, 2018: Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland
*Venues and kick-off times to be confirmed
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