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Carn's Zoe chosen for Ireland U19s 18.09.08

by Simon McGeady, Inishowen Independent

CARNDONAGH FC striker Zoe Doherty’s progression at international level reached a new level last week when she was selected in Sue Ronan’s U19 WFAI squad for the upcoming European Championship qualifying tournament in Israel.
Doherty, who has just turned 17, received notification by mail last week. She will join up with her Ireland team-mates and fly out to next Monday.
The Irish team take on Greece on the 24th of September, followed by the hosts two days later and Iceland on the 29th. The top two teams go forward to the elite stage of the competition, held in the spring.
Speaking to the Inishowen Independent, Ms Doherty said she had been hopeful rather than expectant of winning a place in the squad.
“I wouldn’t be one of those people who are over confident, but I was hopeful. I’ve been training with the U19s all summer and started in friendly games against England in England and Northern Ireland. I hope I can play in Israel and score too.”
Zoe’s international manager was full of praise for her new centre forward.
“Zoe gives us something a little bit different. She’s an old fashioned centre forward who has a good 
Zoe Doherty, right, in action against Greencastle's Niamh McLaughlin.
touch and can hold the ball up well. Her fitness has really come on in the last year,” Sue Ronan said.
Zoe agreed: “When you are training with older girls you have to push yourself to keep up.”
Zoe only made her U17 Irish debut last year, scoring a penalty against Poland in a mini-tournament, and her elevation to the U19 squad so soon is a major feat.
She has experience playing away internationals in Europe, having taken to the field in the green shirt in France and Turkey over the last twelve months.
Because of International commitments, Zoe missed Carndonagh’s Cup final defeat to Greencastle, but adds that retaining the Inishowen league title was a big achievement.
“Retaining the league was the hard part. I’m not saying people didn’t expect us to win last year, but this summer everyone was out to beat us so the pressure was on.”
Turning her attention back to this months competitive internationals, Zoe is confident Ireland can progress, but she does have one concern.
“It’s 31 degrees out there at the minute. It will be hard running in that heat for the first couple of days.”
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