It's been a whirlwind month for Lucy Quinn who has made an instant impression with the Republic of Ireland after a five-year journey to pull on the green shirt.

The Southampton-born attacker got her international clearance just before the friendly against Australia in September. Quinn was thrown straight in by manager Vera Pauw and she justified that faith with a goal and strong performance in Ireland's 3-2 win.

She started again in the World Cup qualifier against Sweden at Tallaght Stadium last Thursday night, and though the Irish went down 1-0, Quinn says she's feeling right at home on the international stage.

"I was really, really excited to be called into my first camp last time round," said the 28-year-old.

"I didn't necessarily expect to play - I didn't even have my passport [in the lead-up to the Australia game] so that was a massive surprise. Now that I've played two games it's honestly like a dream come true. The girls have been great, the staff have been really welcome as well. I've just loved it. It feels like I'm finally home in a way.

"I received my passport and I thought, 'well you know, there's a chance I could be involved in some way...' to find out I was starting and then to score a goal four minutes in... it didn't feel like it was real at the time."

Quinn qualifies to play for Ireland through her grandparents, who hailed from Cavan and Sligo.

Reflecting more on her path to becoming a fully fledged Ireland player, she said: "It's been years in the making. About five years ago I decided that if Ireland wanted me then I definitely wanted to play. It's been a big part of me growing up, it's something I always wanted to do, but there were a lot of difficulties finding grandparents' records and certificates.

"We've had Brexit since then which delayed it a lot, and then a global pandemic. It's been a long time coming.

"I thought I knew a lot about my grandparents but I learned a lot more going through the process of trying to find out information about them. It's been a massive journey and something I wanted to embrace. I wanted to learn a lot about my family history, where I'd come from. It's been great on and off the pitch for me.

"I know the Irish so I knew what I was coming into - I knew the passion, I knew the heart."

Ireland are now preparing to face Finland in Helsinki on Tuesday desperate for three points to kick-start their World Cup qualification campaign.

"We're really excited," Quinn added. "The squad is raring to get out there and get going.

"The performance is what you want first and foremost. You can't get results without the performance but as we know football is difficult and you don't always get the result even when you do put in the performance. There are massive positives to take. I think we could have got something more out of the game but that's the way it is.

"The game against Sweden has only made us more hungry to get three points. I don't want to come away fro that [Finland] game empty handed."