Irish Under-21 women to contest Four Nations in Valencia

The Irish Under-21 women’s team will see action in December in the end with a quickly arranged Four Nations tournament getting under way in Valencia from Wednesday, December 8 to Sunday, December 12.

The side was initially due to take part in the now postponed Junior World Cup in South Africa. That event was put on hold on the eve of departure due to the discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

While not the same level of glamour as the World Cup, this tournament will offer a top class development opportunity with Ireland set to face Spain, the Netherlands and England – all sides who were also due to be in Potchefstroom.

Coach David Passmore can call upon almost all of the World Cup panel with only one change. Ulster Elks’ Gemma Ferguson comes in for Ellie McLoughlin to allow the UCD goalkeeper to make a full recovery from injury.

“Obviously the Junior World Cup being put on hold was a massive disappointment for the players who had worked so hard and were looking forward to representing Ireland at such a prestigious event,” Passmore said.

“While this tournament will not replace the JWC, it does allow us a great opportunity to build on the hard work and development over the previous few months and test ourselves against some of the world’s best teams”

Ireland start their tournament next Wednesday against their Spanish hosts before meeting the Dutch a day later. On Saturday, December 11 they will meet England before playing in either the final or a third/fourth place playoff game.

Under-21 Four Nations (Valencia, Spain; December 8-12, 2021)

Holly Micklem (GK, Old Alex / Trinity College)
Gemma Ferguson (Ulster Elks / UUJ)
KJ Marshall (UCD / University College Dublin)
Caitlin Sherin (Loreto / Dublin City University) Co-Captain
Emma Paul (UCD / University College Dublin)
Sarah McAuley (UCD / University College Dublin)
Ellen Reid (Loughborough Students, Eng / University of Loughborough)
Caoimhe Perdue (UCC / University College Cork), Co-Captain
Anna Horan (Catholic Institute / Mary Immaculate College)
Siofra Murdoch (Harvard, USA / Harvard University)
Christina Hamill (Loreto / Technical University Dublin)
Amy Elliott (UCD / University College Dublin)
Lisa Mulcahy (Loreto / University College Dublin)
Sophia Cole (UCD / University College Dublin)
Charlotte Beggs (Ulster Elks / University of Ulster Jordanstown)
Siofra O’Brien (Loreto / Technical University Dublin)
Nadia Benallal (Beeston, Eng / Nottingham Trent University)
Rachel Kelly  (UCD / University College Dublin)
Yasmin Pratt (Loreto / IT Carlow)
Aoife Taaffe (Loreto / University College Dublin)


Match schedule (all at Valencia, Spain; times local)
Wednesday, December 8: Netherlands v England, 4pm; Spain v Ireland, 6pm
Thursday, December 9: Netherlands v Ireland, 4pm; Spain v England, 6pm
Saturday, December 11: England v Ireland, 11am; Spain v Netherlands, 1pm
Sunday, December 12: Classification matches