Flying the Kilkenny flag - Ellen Molloy ensures local roots stay strong with Ireland's Women's National Team

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Kilkenny Soccer

Republic of Ireland WNT midfielder Ellen Molloy representing Kilkenny

Whenever they represent the Republic of Ireland on the world stage, the women’s national team players remember where they came from.
 
In Vera Pauw’s current squad, 13 different counties are represented by the 26 players who are preparing for next Tuesday’s 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championship qualifier against Germany - among them is Kilkenny's Ellen Molloy.
 
Some of the players who were born abroad trace their roots back to specific counties through their parents or grandparents, while others are recognisable figures from their local communities.
 
Having so many players hail from different parts of the country is a credit to the work done by the Girls’ Centre of Excellence, the Gaynor Cup and the international scouting network that has identified the players.
 
Here is a breakdown of which counties the players are connected with:

Antrim – Ruesha Littlejohn*

Cavan – Leanne Kiernan

Cork – Eabha O’Mahony, Denise O’Sullivan

Donegal – Amber Barrett

Dublin – Isibeal Atkinskon, Diane Caldwell, Niamh Farrelly, Jamie Finn, Keeva Keenan, Katie McCabe, Niamh Reid-Burke, Harriet Scott*, Emily Whelan, Jessica Ziu

Galway – Niamh Fahey

Kerry – Courtney Brosnan*

Kilkenny – Ellen Molloy

Limerick – Claire O’Riordan

Roscommon – Marie Hourihan*, Heather Payne

Tipperary – Grace Moloney*

Wexford – Rianna Jarrett

Wicklow – Aine O’Gorman, Louise Quinn, Claire Walsh
 
*Players qualify through Irish-born relations
 
Recent call-ups would have extended that geographical spread with players having connections to Clare (Alli Murphy), Kildare (Hayley Nolan), Laois (Kyra Carusa) and Louth (Megan Campbell).
 
 
Republic of Ireland WNT Squad
Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Courtney Brosnan (West Ham United), Grace Moloney (Reading), Niamh Reid-Burke (Peamount United)
Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Eabha O'Mahony (Cork City), Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne), Aine O'Gorman (Peamount United)
Midfielders: Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Denise O'Sullivan (Brighton & Hove Albion - on loan from NC Courage), Niamh Farrelly (Peamount United), Ruesha Littlejohn (Leicester City), Ellen Molloy (Wexford Youths), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne)
Forwards: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Heather Payne (Florida State University), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Rianna Jarrett (Brighton & Hove Albion)
 
The Republic of Ireland will play Germany in their UEFA 2022 Women’s European Championship qualifier on Tuesday in Tallaght Stadium at 5pm. The game is live on RTÉ 2