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As Wexford Youths prepare to make their UEFA Women’s Champions League debut on Tuesday, Claire O’Riordan cannot wait to get started.

Will Doyle’s team have done as much preparation as they possibly could for their three qualifying round matches in Poland, so it’s simply a case of getting stuck into the action.

Wexford are in this position courtesy of winning the Continental Tyres Women’s National League last season. That magnificent feat was achieved by playing slick, attacking football and they want to bring that into Europe.

It is why they have added extra quality in their midfield in the shape of Ruth Fahy and Emma Hansberry – two proven players in the League – and also brought back Clare Conlon, Linda Douglas, and Maria Delahunty.

However, the squad who got them this far will be heavily relied on again and O’Riordan’s goals could be crucial. The Limerick native netted 21 goals last term and while she modestly downplays her contribution, she will be a key player.

“At the end of the day, it’s a team effort and it doesn’t matter who scores as long as it goes into the back of the net. It’s obviously nice to get goals, but it’s really all about the three points,” said O’Riordan.

“I’m hoping that I will score in Poland because that is how I help the team, but anyone can score goals and set-pieces could be crucial. Everyone is looking forward to it and we’ve been preparing for it.

“This is our chance and hopefully we’ll grab it by the neck. Raheny and Peamount did really well in the last few years in the Champions League, so we hope that we can match what they did and prove that we’re capable of doing it.”

Wexford get started in the Champions League on Tuesday against Lithuanian side Gintra Universitetas before taking on hosts Medyk Konin on Thursday and Cardiff Met on Sunday.

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Fixtures

UEFA Women’s Champions League, Qualifying Round, Group 7

Tuesday, August 11: Gintra Universitetas v Wexford Youths, Kleczew, Poland, KO 2:30pm

Thursday, August 13: Wexford Youths v Medyk Konin, Konin, Poland, KO 5pm

Sunday, August 16: Cardiff Met v Wexford Youths, Kleczew, Poland, KO 4pm

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