Success has many fathers... grannies and grandads.

Once the Republic of Ireland reached the Women's World Cup, it seemed to jog a few players' memories when it comes to their ancestry.

"It's funny, when you qualify, suddenly there is a lot of players with Irish backgrounds," said Vera Pauw after October's group draw that pitted the Girls in Green against Australia, Canada and Nigeria.

"They email you and they weren't emailing you before you qualified. But there are players that we’re really looking into."

It was an interesting remark from Pauw, and one that may have caused some of her regular squad members to get a bit twitchy.

Is someone going to gatecrash the party?

Ireland are permitted to bring 23 squad players Down Under - plus four 'training players'. There will be tough decisions and inevitable disappointments.

Of course, Pauw is fully entitled to bring in anyone she likes, but she'll be conscious of disrupting the spirit and camaraderie within her closeknit bunch of "tigers".

"There are players abroad that are now showing up and we really have to look into, but they must have a very tight connection with Ireland," Pauw added.

"The players that we have now on the sheet that we are going to look at already have an Irish passport. They have a passport but are playing abroad. We are looking into that."

So we may well see a fresh face or two being drafted into the Ireland set-up between now and the summer - and that makes tomorrow's friendly against Morocco all the more important, for everyone involved.

Erin McLaughlin is aiming to make an impression in Spain

Let's start with the newbies.

Young Shelbourne goalkeeper Katie Keane and Peamount United midfielder Erin McLaughlin have both received maiden senior call-ups.

Keane is 16 years old, so this is really just a taste of senior international football for a player who is one for the future.

McLaughlin will harbour more serious ambitions of getting on the plane. The Donegal 19-year-old scored six times for Peamount United this season and has a reputation for being able to cover ground and get through a lot of hard work. These are big plus points in Pauw's book.

She's also versatile; capable of playing out wide, up front or as an attacking midfielder.

The competition is intense all over the pitch however. Bear in mind that Savannah McCarthy, Megan Connolly, Ruesha Littlejohn, Aoife Colvill and Leanne Kiernan are all absent with various injuries, while Heather Payne is unavailable due to college commitments in the USA.

They are quality, experienced players who will be hoping to return to action in time to knock on Pauw's door. Ellen Molloy and Jess Ziu both would have been added to that list but desperately unfortunate cruciate injuries have ruled them out.

Then there's the fringe players.

Striker Emily Whelan's progress on the international front stalled somewhat after she left Shels to join Birmingham City, where she found game time quite hard to come by.

Whelan has been reinvigorated by a summer move to Glasgow City - and with Kiernan, who had a brilliant season in the Championship with Liverpool last term, still recovering from a bad ankle injury, the door looked to be open for the Balbriggan native to stake a serious claim as a back-up attacker.

An injury at the has deprived her of that opportunity, however. Saoirse Noonan was drafted in to replace Whelan last week and it's the Durham attacker who could offer a reminder of her capabilities if she gets a runout. Pauw is a fan too. In September she said of Noonan: "She will get fitter and fitter and fitter and better and better and better [at Durham] and of course, that improves her chances."

Abbie Larkin has had another great campaign with Shelbourne

Abbie Larkin will also be eyeing that role. Fresh from helping Shelbourne to win the double, the talented teenager is looking to continue her remarkable progress. Larkin had only turned 17 when she got a run-out in last June's Pinatar Cup games, and she followed that up by scoring her first senior goal in the 9-0 qualifier hammering of Georgia.

Wexford Youths midfielder Aoibheann Clancy and Shelbourne defender Jessie Stapleton are two more WNL stars looking to put their hands up.

Stapleton missed the last camp because she was captaining the Ireland U-19s but she is very highly thought of. She was named player of the match in last week's FAI Cup final, nabbing a goal and generally displaying composure and quality throughout the 2-0 defeat of Athlone Town.

Clancy has been hovering around Ireland squads for over a year now. The Wexford Youths playmaker, who turned 19 on Halloween, was last year's WNL Young Player of the Year. She has massive potential, but that midfield area is so competitive. Clancy may just have to bide her time.

Izzy Atkinson wore the red of Shels before going to Celtic in the spring of 2021. Similar to Whelan, she didn't get the minutes she'd have hoped for - though Atkinson had her moments, scoring the winner against Glasgow City in the Scottish Cup final last May. The Rush woman joined West Ham in July and though she's used a lot off the bench, Atkinson is another player capable of slotting into a number of positions.

It all makes for an intriguing clash with the world No 76th-ranked Moroccans on Monday.

Everyone in the Irish camp will be fully aware this is a crucial chance to prove their worth.

Follow the Republic of Ireland v Morocco via our liveblog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app, or watch live on the RTÉ News channel and RTÉ Player.

How to watch the game on the RTÉ News Channel

  • Stream on RTÉ Player
  • Saorview - Channel 21
  • Virgin Media - Channel 200
  • Sky - Channel 521
  • Eir - Channel 517


Republic of Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Courtney Brosnan (Everton), Grace Moloney (Reading), Megan Walsh (Brighton & Hove Albion), Katie Keane (Shelbourne)

Defenders: Harriet Scott (Birmingham City), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Louise Quinn (Birmingham City), Diane Caldwell (Reading), Claire O'Riordan (Celtic), Hayley Nolan (London City Lionesses), Jessie Stapleton (Shelbourne), Megan Campbell (Liverpool), Chloe Mustaki (Bristol City), Áine O'Gorman (Peamount United)

Midfielders: Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Jamie Finn (Birmingham City), Lily Agg (London City Lionesses), Ciara Grant (Hearts), Lucy Quinn (Birmingham City), Aoibheann Clancy (Wexford Youths), Isibeal Atkinson (West Ham United), Erin McLaughlin (Peamount United)

Forwards: Amber Barrett (FFC Turbine Potsdam), Kyra Carusa (HB Hoge), Abbie Larkin (Shelbourne), Saoirse Noonan (Durham WFC)