That distinct Donegal twang has certainly been evident at Abbotstown this week as the Republic of Ireland go through their final preparations for Thursday's World Cup qualifier with Slovakia and next week’s clash with Georgia.

Roma McLaughlin was a late addition to Vera Pauw’s squad ahead of last month’s double-header with Sweden and Finland having been ruled out of the Australian friendly back in September, but she has been present for the entire camp this time and has enjoyed linking up once more with fellow Tír Chonaill natives Ciara Grant and Amber Barrett.

"It’s great to be in and around Amber and Ciara, I haven’t seen them in a long time. It’s great to be reunited with the Donegal ones," said the Greencastle woman.

McLaughlin’s return to the Ireland squad ahead of June’s friendly double-header with Iceland arrived on the back of some stunning form in America with the Central Connecticut Blue Devils – a college journey that recently came to an end.

Since being made co-captain in 2019, the midfielder has been clocking up the goals and assists with regularity and in June she was named on the Division 1 Women’s Soccer All-America Third Team for a second time as the Blue Devils won the Northeast Conference Championship for a third consecutive season.

"We had a good college season, we just finished last week so I was happy to come in here now and get things going. It’s been a really successful four years over there now.

"I’ll look to finish up in May and hopefully I have a good next move. That’s college football finished for me, that’s four years done."

"It was very daunting," she said of her 2018 move to America. "But I knew it was a step I had to make because living in Donegal, obviously I didn’t have the opportunities that you do around Dublin so I thought I needed to make a move to the US.

"It’s definitely benefitted me and I would recommend it.

"It [homesickness] was [an issue], but I was fortunate enough to have Irish people around me over there, I had two of my good friends over there with me.

"My head coach [Mick D’Arcy] is actually Irish as well so that definitely helped with the homesickness."

That particular chapter of her life is closing and now McLaughlin is on the hunt for a new opportunity. Offers are likely to be plentiful given how she is playing, but in the more immediate future McLaughlin is hoping to get onto Vera Pauw’s radar.

Minutes have been scarce – just ten in the second game against Iceland since returning to the squad – but as long as she maintains her place as a panel regular she will do all she can to catch her manager’s eye.

"Getting that call up for the Iceland game in the summer, I was really delighted," she said.

"I really didn’t see it coming but I waited a long time for it and I was really happy with it.

"I was in the start of the campaign with Colin [Bell] then I suffered an injury so I was in and out.

"It’s been really nice to have a set place in here now."

Roma McLaughlin (L) prepares to face fellow Donegal player Ciara Grant in a training drill

Slovakia and Georgia are two vital fixtures if Ireland are to maintain ambitions of qualifying for the Australia-New Zealand tournament in 2023.

McLaughlin said that nothing other than six points would do and she hopes to see another massive crowd after a boisterous 4,000 fans sold out Tallaght Stadium for their 1-0 loss to Sweden.

"These two games are very crucial and I don’t think anything less than six points would be expected. That’s the only thing we can look for.

"The last game against Sweden I think the crowd really got behind us and it does help so much.

"It gives you that second wind to go out and work harder and [to] keep going through the 90 minutes.

"Keep pushing up the numbers and it’ll really help us."

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Follow Republic of Ireland v Slovakia tomorrow evening via our liveblog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, or watch live on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player (6.30pm)