Ireland’s World Cup opener tomorrow morning is set to be a throwback to the heady days of USA 94.
Ireland are opening the Women World Cup with a fixture against tournament hosts Australia in Sydney tomorrow, with a record crowd of 82,500 people expected.
Midfielder Denise O’Sullivan has been declared fit for the match after suffering a horror tackle during last week’s warmup against Colombia.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, her sister Sinéad said the excitement is really building in her home county of Cork.
“Oh, this is huge,” she said. “This is huge.
“The nerves are settling in now slowly and slowly you know – we’re buzzing down here in Cork.”
She said supporters have been working to build up the atmosphere for the tournament for around two months now.
“I suppose about six weeks ago, we started, kind of, kicking in, trying to get people to put their flags out and that,” she said.
“So, we’re hoping now that tomorrow will be a recap of 94 – and I think it will.”
Sinéad said Denise was back in light training yesterday and, although she is still in pain, she will be playing tomorrow morning.
She said Denise only ever wanted to do one thing.
“A ball has been in Denise’s hands since the age of three or four and I suppose, from the age of seven up, we knew Denise was a star,” she said. “We knew she was going to make it.”
“Denise lived and slept football. She woke up with a soccer ball in her hand and she was out on the green every morning – the child wouldn’t even come in for her dinner.
“She was all about the football. United jersey on and the hair back in the ponytail and soccer boots and socks.
“She would be out the door since seven years of age, running round with all the boys.
“This is her dream.”
Ireland kick off against Australia at 11am Irish time tomorrow morning.
You can listen back to Sinéad here: