Women’s Euro qualifiers: Megan Campbell returns to Republic of Ireland squad for Germany clash

Megan Campbell
Campbell is back in the Republic of Ireland squad for the first time in more than a year

Manchester City defender Megan Campbell is back in the Republic of Ireland women’s squad for their European Championship qualifier against Germany at Tallaght Stadium on 1 December.

Campbell returns to the squad for the first time since October 2019 after recovering from a long-term hip injury.

Injury rules out midfielder Megan Connolly.

Hayley Nolan and Alli Murphy are considered close contacts following a Covid case at London City Lionesses.

Kyra Carusa is unable to travel to the Republic of Ireland because of Covid protocols in Denmark.

The squad will meet up on Sunday at the FAI National Training Centre for what is the final game in this Group for manager Vera Pauw’s team.

Germany have already been confirmed as Group I winners, which means that the runner-up spot and a place in a qualifying play-off is now between second-placed Republic of Ireland (13 points) and third-placed Ukraine (12 points).

Ukraine play Montenegro in their final group game.

Pauw’s team currently hold a better goal difference so they need to equal or better Ukraine’s result in order to seal second spot.

They face a very uphill task however as Germany have a 100% record so far and have yet to concede a single goal, having scored 37 in their six matches.

Republic of Ireland squad:

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan, Courtney Brosnan, Grace Moloney, Niamh Reid-Burke

Defenders: Harriet Scott, Keeva Keenan, Claire Walsh, Louise Quinn , Diane Caldwell, Claire O’Riordan, Megan Campbell, Eabha O’Mahony, Isibeal Atkinson, Aine O’Gorman

Midfielders: Niamh Fahey, Jamie Finn, Denise O’Sullivan, Niamh Farrelly, Ruesha Littlejohn, Ellen Molloy, Jessica Ziu, Emily Whelan

Forwards: Katie McCabe, Heather Payne, Leanne Kiernan, Amber Barrett, Rianna Jarrett

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In sudden fashion, Trojans, Longhorns ready for 52nd annual clash

While not always a telltale sign of things to come, it’s happened enough to warrant an inquisitive response from someone who learns of the football facts between these two rivals.

Those facts are that more often than not when South Houston defeats Dobie, the Trojans go to the state playoffs.

Over the last 25 years, it has happened in 1995, 1996, 2007, 2016 and 2017. In 2008, South Houston did defeat Dobie and didn’t qualify for the postseason, while on the flip side, Dobie did beat South Houston in 2011 and the Trojans still managed to earn a playoff berth.

But there’s no denying we have a pattern here, a pattern we’ll see if it happens again when South Houston and Dobie collide for the 52nd annual showdown at Veterans Memorial Stadium for a 6 p.m. kickoff Thursday night.

As many are aware, the game has suddenly been thrust upon the two respective coaching staffs after Channelview reported covid-19 cases in its program, prompting the district to do a flip-flop of Week 10 and Week 5. So while the Falcons self-quarantine, the district is using their Week 10 bye date to make it an easy fix for this weekend.

“We were supposed to play Dobie Week 10, now we’re playing them Week 5. Dobie’s a really good team, a really good program. Coach Kevin Berneathy does a very good job over there. We had a short week to get ready, playing on Thursday. We were supposed to play Deer Park on Friday. That’s the beauty of sports, you’ve got to deal with adversity, you’ve got to be ready to change on the fly. The kids have had a good week, so we’ll be ready tomorrow night,” South Houston head coach Patrick Longstreet said.

Dobie’s method of operation on offense won’t be any different from years past. They’re going to call for a ton of running assignments. In 2018 and 2019, Dobie led the district, averaging 363 yards per game in 2018 and 278 last year. Needless to say, Dobie’s passing attack has ranked near the bottom of the district those two years, averaging under 100 yards.

Cameron Gray will be Dobie’s probable starting quarterback. He was the team’s second-leading rusher last year with 421 yards and nine touchdowns. But the ground attack did lose their top rusher in Dontavion Crosby, a First Team All-District selection.

“They’re playing really good football right now. It’ll be a challenge for us but it’ll be a chance to measure ourselves where we stand as a program. If we want to be one of the four teams fighting for the playoffs, what a great opportunity this will be,” Longstreet said.

The Trojans will counter with their freshman quarterback in Kam’ron Webb, who is coming off his first stellar contest during a 34-0 win over Pasadena. Kendrick Banks will also be behind center.

The one thing South Houston can’t do is draw penalty after penalty like they were doing for the opening half and the first

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