Release Date : 01-Jun-2014 | Name : Méabh De Búrca | Category : Football/Soccer
Author : Myak Homberger
By Rachael Stack
Méabh De Búrca is a key part of the Republic of Ireland’s women’s national football team. Méabh a native from Galway currently plays in defence for both
her club and country. Méabh signed for hometown Galway WFC in late December after coming home from playing abroad for a number of years. Since coming home
Méabh has been chosen as part of the Bus Eireann Women’s National League team of the season and has helped her hometown secure sixth place in their debut
Prior to coming home to Ireland, Méabh played abroad in Sweden for Eskilstuna United DFF. While at the club both Méabh and Irish defensive partner Louise
Quinn playeda vital part in the club’s promotion to the Damallsvenskan for the first time.
Eskilstuna United won the Elitettan and is now set to play in the top division of women’s football in Sweden against big competitors such as Tyresö FF
who are set to play the UEFA Women’s Champions League final on May 22nd vs. Wolfsburg.
Méabh also previously played in Norway in 2012 for Amazon Grimstad and in America for Boston Aztec which is the reserve team of the Boston Breakers in
the WPSL. We recently caught up with Méabh and got an insight into her football life.
Q. In comparison to the leagues you have played in, is the Bus Eireann women’s national league as competitive throughout?
The first three years of the league have seen a gap in points at the end of the season between the top two and the rest of the league. With some of the
changes that are in the pipeline for next year I don’t see this being the case going forward and I think the league will become even more competitive than
it has been.
Q. We spoke prior to you signing for Galway and two players you mentioned to me as being stand out players for the squad are Ruth Fahy and Sinead Taylor.
How nice was it to return home and reunite with old team mates and embrace the new faces of the Irish game?
It was great to be able to come home and link up with girls I grew up playing with in Galway. Obviously the option wasn’t there to move home prior to
last year so I was delighted when I heard that Galway WFC was being formed. There is a lot
of talented players coming through the ranks in the county so I think there will
be exciting times ahead as we see them develop into quality players.
Q. Having played in both Sweden and Ireland in the past year, what is the major difference between the styles of play?
I think the style of play is actually quite similar between the two countries. In Europe it is a very technical game, whereas in America there is more
emphasis on strength and athleticism. At club level, I have found football to be more tactical in Sweden and more physical in Ireland. Q. Ireland has had
an extremely impressive run in the past year with a
few tough challenges along the way. The most recent against Germany in the FIFA Women’s World cup qualifiers. Unfortunately after leading for most of
the game, ye lost 3-2 in the last minute.
Q. How did ye prepare for such a strong side?
We used a lot of video analysis in our preparation. Avenir Sports have been supporting the Irish team for a quite a while and have been providing us with
top of the range software. We now video every training session as well as matches. We analysed the Germans in detail and were also given individual video
clips of ourselves in previous games so that definitely helped in our preparation.
Q. What was it like to play against the World number 2 and current European champions?
It’s always a privilege playing for your country regardless of the opposition. But obviously as a player it is great to be able to test yourself against
the best in the world and the Germans continue to set the standards in Europe. The game itself was like a rollercoaster with some exhilarating highs, but
ending on a low.
Q. Have you learned any lessons after such a defeat?
Definitely, it was a heartbreaking defeat. Losing a game in stoppage time after equalising in the 89th minute is very disappointing but also something
we discussed in meetings to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Q. Ireland is now sitting 2nd in the qualifying group. Do you think there is something special with this team that ye might make history and be the first
Irish women’s team to qualify for a major tournament?
I think qualifying for a World Cup is a big ask, given the current structure and qualifying pathway. Europe is by far the strongest continent for women’s
so it is always going to be difficult. Our squad is made up predominately of players in their early/mid twenties. At 25, I am the fifth oldest member
of the squad so I think we are definitely growing together and I believe qualifying for Euro 2017 is a realistic target.
1. Best team achievement
Winning the Senior Irish Cup with Galway and playing in the Champions League.
2. Proudest individual moment
My international debut v Holland in 2005
3. Best player you played with
Marit Fiane Christensen
4. Best player you played against
5. Favourite player to watch
We’d like to wish Méabh and the girls in green the best of luck for this campaign. The future is bright for this young Irish side and we can’t wait to
see what awaits them on the main stage.
Photos courtesy Football Association Ireland