Goalkeeper Megan Walsh has spoken of her pride after becoming the latest Albion player to receive an international call-up.
Walsh has linked up with the Republic of Ireland squad for two World Cup qualifiers later this month, having qualified through her grandfather William, who was born in Wexford.
Walsh has played for England at under-17, 19 and 23 level but spoke to Megan Connolly and former team-mates Denise O’Sullivan and Rianna Jarrett last year about switching her allegiance.
“It is a real honour and privilege to be called up into the Ireland squad. It was last year when my Irish heritage came up and things went from there,” she said.
“It has taken about 12 months to finally get here. I am excited at the opportunity to be part of the Irish team and to work with [coach] Vera Pauw.
“My grandparents, on my Dad's side, were from Enniscorthy, County Wexford, where we still have family. I know they would be so proud of me being part of the squad.”
Walsh and Connolly linked up with the squad after Sunday’s WSL game against Reading, ahead of qualifiers against Slovakia and Georgia, both at home. She will be fighting for a place alongside Grace Moloney, who was in goal for Reading on Sunday.
“I will have to fight hard for a place in the team but that’s always the case in elite football,” added Walsh. “The main thing is to try and quality for the World Cup. All the squad will want to make sure we get out of the group.”
Walsh and Connolly are among nine Albion players on international duty in the next fortnight.
Maya Le Tissier, Katie Robinson and Ellie Brazil have joined an England under-23 training camp at St George’s Park which includes a friendly against Estonia on November 30.
Inessa Kaagman is with the Netherlands for a World Cup qualifier in the Czech Republic and a home friendly against Japan while Kayleigh Green has linked up with Wales for qualifiers against Greece and top seeds France.
Emma Koivisto is with Finland for a crucial qualifier in Sweden on Thursday while Lea Cordier, who made her full debut for Albion last week, has joined up with Belgium for Euro under-23 qualifiers against Norway and Netherlands.