A LIMERICK woman is playing a key role in the backroom team of the trailblazing Irish side which has stormed into the semi-finals of the UEFA Women’s U19 European Championships in Norway.
Barbara Bermingham, who works as a FAI regional development officer in Limerick city, takes charge of off-field team operations for the Irish side busily preparing for this Thursday’s UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship semi-final clash with Netherlands at Norway’s Mjøndalen Stadium, 6pm Irish time.
The Republic of Ireland beat the top three seeds in the tournament, Spain, England and Sweden, to reach the last four on their first occasion competing in the prestigious tournament.
The Ireland U-19 women’s team is managed by former Limerick and Janesboro boss, Dave Connell. The squad includes Texas-born defender Grace Wright who qualifies to play for Ireland through her grandfather William who was from Caherconlish.
Barbara Bermingham, who lives on the Ennis Road, said: “We came through two qualifying competitions to make the finals, one in Dublin last October and the second, the elite phase qualifier in the Netherlands in April. The girls made history in qualifying. Not many other sides would have been expecting much from us in these European Championships, but the squad had its own high expectation levels of doing well. This is a very hard-working group of girls.
“My own role with the team is to deal with the diplomatic side of things, making sure everything is organised for the girls, including liaising with UEFA officials. Before the tournament began the squad set itself the target of getting out of the group and reaching the semi-final. Now the team finds itself one game away from playing in the final.”