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Katie McCabe at Dublin Airport this afternoon. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
australia bound

Katie McCabe calls on nation to 'get on the bandwagon' as Irish team departs for World Cup

“I’m hoping we can give the nation a summer to remember,” she said.

LAST UPDATE | 7 Jul 2023

KATIE MCCABE REMAINS on course to captain the Republic of Ireland at their first-ever World Cup despite an injury scare last night.

The 42 understands there are no immediate concerns around McCabe after the Arsenal star rolled her ankle in the 3-0 defeat to France at Tallaght Stadium.

The impact came early in the game, but she played on for 15 minutes before she was substituted in the 31st minute. It appeared precautionary; McCabe walked off without any discomfort, and watched the remainder of the action ahead of departure for Australia this afternoon.

“I went for a scan this morning, still feeling quite tender but I’m happy with where it’s at and should be back training early next week,” she told FM104 from Dublin Airport, after The 42‘s report.

“I didn’t fear the worst. I knew it wasn’t right just with how I was moving and I couldn’t really change direction. Speaking to the medical team, it was the most important thing to not take any unnecessary risk with the tournament in two weeks’ time. We can monitor it properly going into this week.”

When asked how she was feeling ahead of the departure to Australia, McCabe said: ”Really excited, it’s been a long time coming. It feels like a long time ago we qualified and we were on our way back from Glasgow after beating Scotland so it’s exciting now to finally be here.”

She said she wants to “make the nation proud”. 

“I said it earlier on in the press conference during the week, if you’re not on the bandwagon yet, get on it,” McCabe said. 

“Hang your tricolours out of the windows of your house, come watch the games, there’s watch parties all over the country, get behind us. We’ll feel your support even though we’re on the other side of the world,” she said. 

“I’m hoping we can give the nation a summer to remember.”

Manager Vera Pauw also seemed positive afterward yesterday’s game, telling RTÉ television: “We will see how it goes, hopefully not too bad.”

Speaking to reporters in the mixed zone, Pauw elaborated: “Katie, it’s a blow but I hope things are okay. We don’t know. I don’t know more than you do because I’ve not been in the dressing room. The doctor has to see it and have the first assessment still.

“She played for 15 minutes with it. We saw limping, so we needed to take her off.”

katie-mccabe-leaves-the-field-after-being-substituted McCabe leaving the field last night. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

It’s believed there are no fresh injury concerns ahead of departure for Brisbane, with Sinead Farrelly and Megan Connolly substituted late on after suffering with cramp.

The 23-strong squad and three training players fly in two groups today and tomorrow so everyone can travel business class.

“Half of the group fly on Saturday because there’s not enough business class seats on the flight,” Pauw explained after last night’s defeat, which was played in front of a record attendance of 7,633.

“There’s a family brunch for all at the hotel tomorrow and then we go to the airport.”

Ireland base themselves in Brisbane ahead of Group B showdowns against the Matildas in Sydney (20 July), Canada in Perth (26 July) and Nigeria back on the Gold Coast (31 July). A behind-closed-doors game against Colombia is pencilled in for next Friday.

Emma Duffy and Sinéad O’Carroll will travel to Australia for the Fifa Women’s World Cup later this month. Keep an eye on The 42 and The Journal for their coverage of the historic event. Sign up to The 42 here.

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