Jessica Gargan admits that the Ireland Women will find it tough when they face China in their Quarter Final clash on Monday at the World University Games in Pagani’s Stadio Marcello Torre close to Naples.
The Quinnipiac University defender played her part in getting Ireland to the last eight of the tournament with their group stage wins over Brazil and South Korea and has thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience of representing her country on the world stage.
“It’s a change from playing in underage international football and national league. It’s very different but a great experience. In the underage internationals, the biggest teams you normally come up against are the Europeans such as Germany and Spain, you never get the opportunity to play Brazil and South Korea.” explained Gargan.
But Gargan is expecting China will pose a much bigger threat than their previous opponents.
“Our coaches went to watch them play Russia and were impressed, they are another step-up in class. and when you’re at the Quarter Finals of any competition, no matter who you are playing it is going to be a difficult game, but we are all really excited and we are training well so we are ready.”
The Dubliner, now back home playing for Shelbourne Ladies after completing her studies in the USA before Christmas paid tribute to the great bond that Head Coach Dave Connell and his assistant Dave Bell have formed amongst the whole group and the important role this has played in getting the players to produce their best.
🗨️ "Not a lot of coaches would have went out that way against Brazil, playing three at the back and actually encouraging your players to play football"@Jess_G_xo was full of praise for the coaching staff ahead of a tough game against China#WUG19IRL @StudentSportIrl @FAIreland pic.twitter.com/nw4M3KOujp
— Third Level Football (@thirdlevelfootb) July 7, 2019
“Even before our first game, we were all together and the atmosphere was great. Some people take the Irish for granted and don’t think we’re here to compete. It was good that we came together quickly as a team and we started to show we can play as well and be a good team.
“When you talked to other people and they heard we had Brazil and South Korea in the group, they sort of giggled and said it was going to be tough but didn’t really think we could do it. In fairness to the coaches, they really gave us belief and made us think we could out and do it. They let us play football as not a lot of coaches would have went (sic) out that way against Brazil, playing three at the back and encouraging your players to play football.”
Women’s Football – Quarter Final
Monday, July 8 – China v Ireland, Stadio Marcello Torre, 6.0 (5.0 Irish)
Results So Far
Women’s Football – Group C
Ireland 1-0 Brazil
Republic of Korea 1-2 Ireland