Monday 11 December 2017

Savannah and U-19s ready to take next step against Dutch

SAVANNAH McCARTHY has admitted that the euphoria of the past week in which the Ireland Under-19s have qualified for today's UEFA European Women's U-19 Championship semi-final against The Netherlands, has led to a sleepless night or two.

McCarthy scored the Ireland's equaliser in Monday's final group game against Sweden, setting a platform for Megan Connolly to grab the winner. The defender treated herself to a necessary lie-in the morning after. "I couldn't get to sleep at all," she admits. "I just sat awake, grinning and reading through tweets and messages. It was just an unbelievable feeling."

Most footballers will be familiar with the difficulties of finding sleep after an evening match. It was, however, the lingering thrill of having progressed to rather than the residual energy which kept Savannah and her team-mates awake.

"I think we all needed a rest in the morning. We were just buzzing afterwards. Recovery days have become just as much about giving ourselves a rest mentally as physically," she added. Dave Connell's charges now take on the Dutch in Mjondalen and for McCarthy and her team-mates, it is business as usual in terms of preparation.

"The belief we have is huge, as I say, but it's about focus as well. We can't get carried away, but I don't think there's a risk of that. We've already achieved something but now it's on to the next step, and that's reaching the final. There are only two games before we can become European champions," she added.

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