Megan Connolly is confident the Irish WNT will play “some of the bigger games” at the Aviva Stadium next year, building on their inaugural outing at the venue last September.
“I know we’ll have some games next year at the Aviva, and at Tallaght,” she told HerSport.ie yesterday.
☘️The Irish WNT to play in the Aviva next year 🤯?
Megan Connolly spoke to us about that possibility yesterday ⬇️
💬 “I think I know we’re gonna have games at the Aviva next year, like some of the bigger games”#womensfootball #irishWNT #irishfootball pic.twitter.com/3sdoXXGoCg
— Her Sport (@HerSportDotIE) November 28, 2023
Understanding of course that “there are logistics that go into it”, Connolly is assured that they’ll find the right balance between a mix of the two stadia.
“You can’t just unfortunately snap your fingers and be in the Aviva,” she says.
“Obviously having the crowd at the Aviva was amazing. I think for us we’ve always seen Tallaght as our home for now.
“Hopefully people keep supporting us and we can sell that out…With the new stand that would bring in almost 10,000 people.”
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) November 23, 2023
Heading on a trajectory towards six wins from six in their Nations League campaign, to do so would certainly be building on the momentum that currently lies with the Girls in Green.
Connolly believes the team “want to finish on a high” under interim manager Eileen Gleeson, and leave themselves in good nick before tournament qualifiers of higher magnitude in 2024.
“I think it would be a great step in the right direction as a team and as a team who wants to be at every single major tournament now,” she says.
“I think we did amazing to get to the World Cup, and that is something that we want to make a norm.
“Obviously going into February and March, where we start the Euro campaign really, we have the three windows where we can hopefully do something great and qualify for the Euros.”
— Cork City FC Women (@CorkCityFCWomen) June 28, 2023
Megan Connolly, a leader amongst leaders
Now captain at her club Bristol City, the Cork woman continues to emerge as a leader, in that jersey and the Irish one.
She enjoys international camp for the “different environment” that comes with it, and as well as for the opportunity to persist with growth in that regard too.
“A lot of players at Ireland are captains of their clubs, so I’ve been lucky enough to be in with them, witness them and kind of see how they act in that kind of way,” she says.
“I’ve always kind of wanted that. I think it was the next step in my career to have that opportunity and when I got asked would I take the role, I said yeah in a heartbeat.
“To have that responsibility and to have that kind of opportunity to lead the team week in and week out is something that I would never turn down. It’s been amazing.”
— Bristol City Women (@bristolcitywfc) November 26, 2023
With three WSL games left before Christmas and a break of around two weeks, Connolly is looking forward to soaking up as much time at home as she can, and of course reuniting with woman’s best friend.
“I haven’t been home since the World Cup,” she says.
“My parents, my brother and sister have visited me but you just don't really get time do you to travel home for a day or two.
“So yeah, I can't wait to get home and see my dog, unfortunately he can’t travel on a plane so I haven’t seen him in a while.”