Home Sports Katie McCabe reflects on her Republic of Ireland career in pictures ahead of Women’s World Cup | Football News

Katie McCabe reflects on her Republic of Ireland career in pictures ahead of Women’s World Cup | Football News

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Katie McCabe reflects on her Republic of Ireland career in pictures ahead of Women’s World Cup | Football News

Republic of Ireland captain Katie McCabe reflects on her international career so far in pictures, ahead of their first Women’s World Cup game on Thursday.

Picture One: 15-year-old McCabe preparing for U19 Euros

An image of a 15-year-old Katie McCabe brings a smile to the Ireland captain’s face.

“It brings back nice memories. I remember that photoshoot it was before our U19 Euro qualification, and we went on to qualify out the group. I broke my leg towards the end of it and missed the final game,” she said.

It was at the Euro U19 championships where McCabe also met future Arsenal teammate Vivianne Miedema for the first time.

Reflecting on their interactions at the time, McCabe added: “I didn’t know her, I just knew her as the player who scored a hat-trick in the semi-final to kick us out the tournament! I never let her live that down.”

Picture Two: Republic of Ireland’s youngest ever captain

Katie McCabe walks out with her sister, Lauryn, for the Republic of Ireland

McCabe was named as the Republic of Ireland’s youngest captain at 21-years-old but the call from manager Colin Bell came as a surprise.

“I thought I was in trouble. I was 21 and a bit of a character at a young age, so I was thinking ‘what have I done?’,” she reflected.

When Bell asked McCabe to take over from retired Emma Byrne as Ireland captain, she thought it was a joke, explaining: “I was speechless. I didn’t think twice of it. I said of course, it would be an absolute honour.

“It was a really proud moment, I was so young.

“I’ve always had a bit of confidence about me that if something like that arose, I knew I could do it. It was difficult at the start, being at such a young age, you can lose yourself, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of the senior figures around me.”

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Shortly after becoming captain, McCabe led out her younger sister and rising football star Lauryn at Tallaght Stadium.

“It was a special moment. Leading out the girls as captain is still to this day one of the proudest things I do.”

Lauryn, 15, has been featured on the bench for the first team for Shamrock Rovers in Dublin and McCabe added: “Wouldn’t it be a special day if the two of us could represent Ireland?”

Picture Three: ‘That was heartbreak’

Katie McCabe commiserates with her teammate after the Republic of Ireland missed out of qualification for Euro 2022

Ireland missed out on Euro 2022 qualification after losing 1-0 to Ukraine and finishing third in their group – two points behind Ukraine.

“It was gutting because we were so close. I missed a penalty that game,” McCabe said.

A mix-up at the back between Everton goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan and Shamrock Rovers’ Aine O’Gorman led to Ireland conceding an own goal.

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Sky Sports is granted access all areas on gameday at Shamrock Rovers women where we follow Rovers captain and Ireland international Aine O’Gorman behind the scenes at Tallaght Stadium as they face Cork City

McCabe reflected: “Aine has been such an important player in our squad, even before I started. For that to happen to her, I was gutted and I was heartbroken for the team.”

“We remember that feeling of hurt and I do think it brought us together as a team, going through those difficult moments. It gives you fire in the belly when preparing for the next qualification which was the World Cup.”

Picture Four: McCabe captains ROI to World Cup qualification

Katie McCabe celebrates after the Republic of Ireland's qualification for the World Cup

From the heartache of not qualifying for the Euros, the Republic of Ireland channelled that pain and qualified for their first major tournament – the 2023 World Cup.

Amber Barrett scored the historic goal off the bench in the 72nd minute in the Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 victory against Scotland.

“It was a weight that lifted off my shoulders, pure happiness and joy. It was like an out of body experience,” McCabe said.

Picture Five: Republic of Ireland celebrate

The Republic of Ireland celebrate after reaching the World Cup

“Me – front of centre of the party as always!”

The Republic of Ireland begin their World Cup campaign against co-hosts Australia on July 20 at a sold-out Stadium Australia.

The venue was moved due to demand for tickets and McCabe will walk out the Girls in Green to 80,000 fans.

“We’ve all had different journeys but we’ve all wanted to achieve the same thing,” she added.

“It gives me goosebumps talking about it. I will never ever forget that day and that feeling. It was one of the best days of my life. Seeing the tricolour fly down under, especially in the opening game against Australia, I don’t think it gets any better than that!”

What is the World Cup schedule?

The group stage will begin on July 20 and run over a two-week period finishing on August 3 and see group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.

The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.

The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.

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