CIARA Grant has reflected on the ‘incredible’ journey to the final 2010 European Women’s Under-17 Championships.
Ten years on from Ireland’s memorable sojourn, which ended in a final defeat to Spain on penalties in Nyon, Grant has wound the clock back.
“It’s mad and it doesn’t feel like ten years ago. It was a special group of players,” said the Letterkenny woman, now a qualified doctor who is on the books of Shelbourne.
“We were on a high. It was incredible.”
The Irish were managed by Noel King and Grant recalled how she first got involved.
She said: “I had just turned 15. we had played inter-provincials and Noel King came to Donegal at the time, pulled me aside and said he’d like me to come to the under-17s to get a feel for it.
“I went for a weekend of football, we played four hours Saturday and four hours Sunday. The next thing I knew, I was called into the next camp.”
In the semi-final, a goal by Megan Campbell gave Ireland a 1-0 win over the fancied Germans.
Grant said: “We knew we’d go in defensively and Noel instilled belief that we could get away with it.
“Megan Campbell scored a free kick and we held out for a 1-0 win. It was about 45 yards out and she put it in the top corner. The whole place went crazy.”
Watch the full interview below …
🗣️"I definitely think it was a huge drive behind the changes that started within women's football."
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) July 8, 2020