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Amber Barrett: 'It Was A Very Special Moment, But I Want To Be One Of Those 23'

Amber Barrett: 'It Was A Very Special Moment, But I Want To Be One Of Those 23'
By Alanna Cunnane Updated
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The Irish WNT’s pride of Donegal, Amber Barrett, etched herself into history when she scored the goal vs Scotland last year to catapult the Girls In Green to the 2023 Women’s World Cup, but after a challenging club season the 27-year-old now finds herself on loose ground in a bid for a place on the plane to Oz.

Further away from that golden ticket than she would have liked to be, Barrett speaks of her frustrating year at Turbine Potsdam, who found themselves relegated from the Frauen-Bundesliga this season, and why the situation there spurred her on to move to Belgian league highflyers, Standard Liege.

“I just needed to get out of Turbine” Barrett said.

“It's a very, very big club with a big history in Germany, one of the best women's teams but I think...things have just moved a wee bit faster than they have I think.

“I have a lot of respect for a lot of the people there because they want the best for the club and I hope that now they've gone down that they go back up again next year, but I needed to get out of there.

“I just don't think it was fair some of the things that happened this year and of course, coming into a World Cup and not getting the minutes it's really, really difficult.”

Highlighting that the negotiation around playing minutes and how the club’s reluctance to “work with [her] in those regards was a wee bit difficult”, the former Peamount United star remarked of the importance of feeling appreciated in a setting.


“Just to feel wanted and valued again in a team, that's just something you want” she says.

“At the end of the day I don't care what league I'm in, I want to be playing. It's no good playing in a top league if I'm sitting on the bench every week in a team that's losing.

“I think I have more self-value than that there and so to be honest with you I'm delighted [with the transfer].”


Explaining that Liege had first got in contact with her around Christmas, Barrett, who has also played for FC Köln in the past, once again is having to adapt to a new culture and country.

“I think I just love challenging myself with a new language and stuff” she outlines.

“I have to learn a wee bit of French. I don't know if yous know any multilingual Donegal people but we are few and far between! It's nice to learn a new language and be able to test yourself.

“The coach there, he got women's coach of the year in Belgium this year. Honestly, going into work under a great coach is really exciting, somebody that will push me and try to push me on as a player. That's what's you want, you want to improve. If you can't get better then what are you doing? I can't wait to get stuck in with that but hopefully, Australia first.”

Amber Barrett wins big award

The anticipation of who will make the 23 woman squad looms large for Vera Pauw, her team and the nation, but they have “two big tests” in Zambia and France to battle out first in Tallaght before they jet off Down Under. For Amber Barrett, who was awarded the goal of the year accolade by the FAI today for her memorable strike in Hampden Park, all of the hype must transcend into a greater purpose.

“I think the goal was brilliant and I'm very happy to move on with it as long as I get to the World Cup. It's no good to me now thinking back on it. Like, of course it was a very special moment, but I want to be one of those 23” she says.


“But everybody here wants to be one of the 23. It's not easy.

“There's people who've been around the block for many years who are more than likely going to be left out, that's just the way it is. I would not like to be Vera Pauw for the next two weeks.

“Competition is good, it's healthy. There's no bitterness here. At the end of the day it's up to you, you have the chance to prove yourself. After that you just have to hope that Vera gives you the nod” she adds.

With the final squad announcement pending on June 29th, Barrett will be hoping for the opportunity to make more history in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

SEE ALSO: Coffee, Vico, Glendalough: Hayley Nolan On How The Ireland WNT Are Keeping Busy Outside Of Training

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