By Darren Cleary
The Reds begin the journey they hope will end in the UEFA Women’s Champions League this week.
The qualifiers take centre stage with the Round 1 clash with Glasgow City taking place in Lithuania. The Reds will depart Dublin on Monday.
Here is all the info you need to know ahead of a massive few day for Noel King’s Reds.
UEFA Women’s Champions League Qualifiers – Round 1
Group 8 (hosts: Gintra)
Date: Wednesday, 6th September 2023
Venue: Siauliai central stadium-Šiauliai
Glasgow City vs Shelbourne (10:00 KO)
Gintra vs Cardiff City (16:00)
Saturday 9 September
Third-place match (10:00)
Round 1 is one of two rounds before the 16-team group stage, which begins in November. It is split into two paths: the champions path and the league path. In both paths, round 1 will consist of two stages, each of one-off knockout matches played in single-venue mini-tournaments: semi-finals on 6 September and finals/third-place play-offs on 9 September.
The winners of each final (11 in champions path, four in league path) will progress to round 2, which will decide the 12 teams joining holders Barcelona, Lyon, Bayern and Chelsea in the group stage.
Glasgow City, a powerhouse in Scottish women’s football, are five games into the new season. They are currently top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League having taken 13 points from their first five games. They won the league last season, finishing ahead of Celtic in second, and Rangers in third.
A rock solid side who’ve conceded just two goals in their first 5 games, they’ve only dropped points to Rangers in a 1-1 draw on August 27th. They’ll be very familiar with the Reds, as Shelbourne Academy graduate and former Red Emily Whelan now plays for the Scottish champs.
Noel King has no new injury concerns heading into the game after the weekend’s action. The Reds remain second in the League of Ireland table, 6 points behind leaders Peamount United.
What happens after the first game:
Victory would means Shels would play either the hosts Lithuanian side Gintra or Cardiff City in a group final on Saturday, 9 September.
The winner of the mini tournament will then progress to the second qualifying round with ties to be played in October ahead of the group stages that begin in November when some of the top teams in World football like Barcelona, Lyon, Bayern Munich and Chelsea waiting in the wings to enter the fray.
For Shels fans worldwide, the match will be available for live streaming here: https://fienta.com/lt/soccer-glasgow-city-fc-sco-vs-shelbourne-fc-irl?fbclid=IwAR07-Cr32gI5IKVnvn1UQ-4W-GJTHH-jT6GNVFaZJi6u7iGseIomegctUng
The cost of the stream is €5
The game will be played at the Siauliai central stadium-Šiauliai, the weather forecasters are predicting scattered showers early in the day, with an expected temperature of 24 °C.
The following players will travel with the Shels squad as well as support staff and club officials
- Courtney Maguire
- Amanda McQuillan
- Pearl Slattery
- Leah Riley
- Leah Doyle
- Kerri Letmon
- Margaret Pierce
- Cathrine Graversen
- Lucy O’Rourke
- Keeva Keenan
- Alex Kavanagh
- Rachel Graham
- Nadine Clare
- Sophie Watters
- Kate O’Dowd
- Elizabeth Moore
- Hannah Healy
- Taylor White
- Jemma Quinn
- Noelle Murray
- Megan Lynch
- Rebecca Devereux
- Christie Gray
- Natasha Shirazi
- Morgan Rees
- Katie McCarn