Manorhamilton youngster makes first start for Irish U16s

Manorhamilton’s Muireann Devaney started in midfield as the Republic of Ireland girls U16 squad rounded off the Uefa Development Tournament with a win this morning.

The Irish beat Turkey by a goal to nil in Sweden this morning, to record their first win at the tournament following narrow defeats to Sweden and Austria.

The Manor Rangers youngster made her first start at this level in today’s game, having made her U16 international debut as a substitute in Monday’s scoreless draw against Austria, which the Austrians won thanks to a penalty shootout.

The multi-talented St Clare’s Comprehensive School student is one of only two players in the U16 development squad that are eligible for the U16 grade again next year.

Head Coach Sharon Boyle said the three games have proven very beneficial for the team’s development, before the move on to Under-17 level.

“You couldn’t have asked for better opposition. I’m proud of how everyone applied themselves this week in Sweden. It’s a very strong group that will now move onto the Under-17s.

“The girls had to dig deep today. You could see their relief when Jessica scored. All their hard work this week paid off.

“Only Muireann Devaney and Aoibheann Clancy will be with the Under-16s next year. The rest will move onto the Under-17s. They now know what’s expected of them when they move up an age grade.”

Republic of Ireland: Courtney Maguire; Eabha O’Mahony, Ellie Ferguson, Mia Dodd, Zara Foley; Jessica Ziu, Aoibheann Clancy, Muireann Devaney; Shauna Carroll, Lauren Egbuloniu, Sophie Liston

Substitutes used: Kayla Brady, Hana Ueno, Nadine Clare, Emily Whelan, Blessing Kingsley, Bobbi Downer

Republic of Ireland (v Austria): Ria McPhilbin, Eabha O’Mahony, Bobbi Downer, Kayla Brady, Zara Foley; Jessica Ziu, Ellie Ferguson, Nadine Clare; Taylor White, Emily Whelan, Blessing Kingsley

Substitutes used: Courtney Maguire, Shauna Carroll, Robyn Bolger, Muireann Devaney.