Fingal TY girls celebrate a day of firsts as they meet Ireland’s World Cup heroes

by Rose Barrett
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Fifty years after the first ever Ireland Women’s National Team took to the field against Wales, a trailblazing initiative between Fingal County Council and the Football Association of Ireland has been celebrated.

This was the first cohort of Transition Year Girls who met with the ROI Ireland’s squad who will be make history with the country’s debut at a FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

The Fingal-FAI Transition Year (TY) Football & Fitness Course gives students an opportunity to sample full-time football training while also fulfilling their educational requirements and obtaining qualifications in coaching and fitness training.

The meeting took place just before the Irish team embarks on their momentous journey to Australia, where they will compete in their inaugural Women’s World Cup. The Girls in Green took a break from their hectic training schedule ahead of their international friendly at Tallaght Stadium against France tomorrow night. 

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy, expressed great pride and admiration for the students and their dedication to the sport: “Fingal has always been a hotbed of sporting talent, and we are incredibly proud to witness our young girls forging their paths in football.

“The TY Girls’ Football & Fitness Course is a testament to our ongoing efforts to nurture the talent we have across the County and to empower the youth of our community. We are thrilled that our students had the chance to meet Ireland’s Women’s National Team and before they set off on their historic World Cup journey. This experience will undoubtedly inspire and motivate our young athletes to aim high and pursue their dreams.” 

Ireland Women’s National Football Team member Diane Caldwell, from Balbriggan in Fingal, meets with girl’s from the country’s first ever TY Football course. The ground-breaking initiative is run by Fingal County Council and the FAI.

Ireland international player and Fingal native, Diane Caldwell, expressed her support for the ground-breaking initiative: “As a player who has experienced the challenges and joys of playing football, meeting these passionate young players from Fingal has been a fantastic experience.

“It’s incredible to see the enthusiasm and dedication they bring to the game. I was once in their shoes, dreaming of representing my country, and it’s great to be able to offer them guidance. I wish them the very best of luck in their journey and hope to see them donning the green jersey someday.” 

The TY course, a brainchild of Fingal’s forward-thinking Council in partnership with the FAI, marks a significant milestone in Ireland’s commitment to women’s football. The course aims to nurture young female talents, providing them with the necessary tools, knowledge, and opportunities to excel in football alongside continuing their school education.  

The TY programme commences in September and will be based at the world-class Sport Ireland Campus and the FAI National Training Centre in Dublin 15.

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