Experienced Irish centre-half Louise Quinn loves nothing if not a challenge.

The 31-year-old made her name at Peamount United before meeting her ambitions away from these shores.

Best known perhaps for her stint with Arsenal, the Blessington native spent three years in Sweden and also sampled the Italian football culture with Fiorentina last season.

Now the defender, who marked her 87th international cap with the winner against Australia last month, is back in England with Birmingham City.

Five games into the new season and the Blues remain winless, having picked up a single point thus far, with only Leicester City below them in the table.

"There has been a lot of defending," she says, "but I'm playing with no fear."

Despite being out of the English game for just a year, there was a noticeable increase in pace, and quality.

Louise Quinn in action for Birmingham City this season in the FA Women's Super League

"I was like, right, I’m going to put myself up against the best and see what happens."

Her Italian adventure was marred by the pandemic, so who knows what could have transpired at a different time. She still credits the season as "unbelievable experience" that has boosted her skillset.

The one constant is her time with Ireland. There is a genuine warmth there for her team-mates as they embark on their latest quest to qualify for a major tournament.

Second in the world Sweden travel to Tallaght to take on a side 31 places below them in the world rankings and while few outside the camp believe an upset is on the cards, Quinn and her team-mates have taken a huge lift from the win over Australia that snapped a seven-game losing streak.

In a group that also contains Finland, Slovakia and Georgia, some view tonight’s fixture as a free hit, but last month’s victory has renewed ambitions.

"It was a massive, massive result for us," the Blessington native says. "We know we can play well at that level, really disrupt the top teams and take our chances when we get them."

The defender celebrates her goal against Australia

The most pleasing aspect perhaps was that Ireland won without playing near their best. Quinn herself concedes that while putting pressure on the ball was a cornerstone to the 3-2 win, their inability to keep hold of possession themselves was something that needs to be rectified if World Cup ambitions are to be met, starting tonight against the team that has reached the last two Olympic finals.

Their side is littered with talent and Quinn is a former Eskilstuna United team-mate of Nathalie Bjorn and Olivia Alma Schough.

We're here to shake it up

What Quinn discovered from her time in Sweden, and from watching the national team, is that there is a clear understanding between all the players over what they want to achieve.

The visitors will be well organised and expected to dominate possession, but the hosts aren't just going to roll over in front of a sell-out, capped attendance, of 4,000.

"We’re here to shake it up. They are an incredibly tough team. We are going to have to take any of the small chances we get and frustrate them, but after seeing the opponents we have played, they are hopefully going to know they are 100% in for a game."

Follow the Republic of Ireland v Sweden via our liveblog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, watch live on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player, or listen to live radio commentary on RTÉ 2fm's Game On.