The image of a 15-year-old Katie McCabe makes the Ireland captain grin.

“It brings back pleasant memories.” That photoshoot happened before our U19 Euro qualifying, and we went on to qualify out of the group. “I broke my leg near the end and missed the final game,” she explained.

McCabe also met future Arsenal teammate Vivianne Miedema for the first time in the Euro U19 championships.

“I didn’t know her, I just knew her as the player who scored a hat-trick in the semi-final to kick us out of the tournament!” McCabe said of their encounters at the time. I never let her forget it.”

“I believed I was in serious trouble. “I was 21 years old and a bit of a character at the time, so I was thinking, ‘What have I done?'” she reflected.

When Bell invited McCabe to take over as Ireland captain from the retired Emma Byrne, she believed it was a joke, adding, “I was speechless.” I didn’t second-guess myself. Of sure, I answered, it would be an honour.

“It was a really proud moment for me because I was so young.”

“I’ve always had a bit of self-assurance that if something like that came up, I knew I could handle it.” It was challenging at first because you can lose yourself at such a young age, but I couldn’t have done it otherwise.


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