FOUR players from Leixlip Amenities Liffey Celtics Basketball team have been included by Head Coach, Andy Gill, in the 16 person Ireland U16 women’s squad ahead of the Home Nations in Scotland in May. The tournament takes place in Dundee from 6-8 May and will see Ireland take on Scotland, England and Wales.
The four players chosen from Liffey Celtics are Kelly Bracken, Ciara Brogan, Ciara Boyce and Shauna Curran. There are also four players from Meteors, Freya Blennerhassett, Helena Keane, Aisling Moran and Grace Prenter. Curran, Moran and Fr. Mathews point guard Rachel Bowdren are the only three players in the squad who’ve been previously capped, the trio played five times at last summer’s FIBA U16 Women’s European Challengers in Slovakia.
Poland-based Karolina Gierszal is included, the 15-year-old point guard who plays for MUK Bydgoszcz, was born in Ireland. The other players selected are guards Leah McMahon (St Paul’s), Emma Tolan (East Cavan Eagles) and Ava Walshe (Douglas Panthers), along with forwards Shannon Quigley (Portlaoise Panthers), Nina Stijacic (Limerick Celtics) and Caoimhe Gilligan (Dublin Lions).
Head coach Andy Gill said: “It is never an easy time when selection comes around, but is a necessary part of the process. I would like to commend all the players in this new squad and those not selected on their fantastic attitude, work rate and coachability. We will be preparing in earnest, over the next six weeks, for a Home Nations tournament in Scotland, where these players will be truly tested and final selection will be made.”
Ireland’s U16 women will be competing in the FIBA U16 European Championships in Sarajevo, Bosnia from 19 – 27 August.
Ireland U16 Women’s Squad:
Freya Blennerhassett (Meteors), Kelly Bracken (Liffey Celtics), Ciara Brogan (Liffey Celtics), Ciara Boyce (Liffey Celtics), Rachel Bowdren (Fr. Mathews), Shauna Curran (Liffey Celtics), Karolina Gierszal (MUK Bydgoszcz), Caoimhe Gilligan (Dublin Lions), Helena Keane (Meteors), Leah McMahon (St. Paul’s), Aisling Moran (Meteors), Grace Prenter (Meteors), Shannon Quigley (Portlaoise Panthers), Nina Stijacic (Limerick Celtics), Emma Tolan (East Cavan Eagles), Ava Walshe (Douglas Panthers).