Lily Agg: ‘I didn’t know how to get into the Irish team’

Vera Pauw Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team Manager presents Lily Agg with her jersey

Vera Pauw Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team Manager presents Lily Agg with her jersey Credit: Conor Ryan (ETPhotos)

Dylan O’Connell reports from the Ireland World Cup squad launch in UCD

Before the goal against Finland that sent the Republic of Ireland through to the play-offs for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, there was a question.

It had nothing to do with the goal, that was just heading in a free-kick that Megan Connolly sent in.

Lilly Agg wondered how does she actually declare for Ireland.

“My mum told me to do it, so so long ago but it was one of those things,” said Lily Agg looking back when she spoke with on Thursday.

“I didn’t know how to get into the Irish team because you know what football is like. You kind of need to know someone to get involved and pass through.”

“I was talking to Sophie Perry, who used to play for Ireland and she said ‘Lil, do it’. I started my process and then with COVID it took a little bit longer, maybe two years going through the full process. But as soon as it had gone through and I was eligible it was a great feeling.

“I work as hard as I can on the pitch for Ireland and I want everyone to see that I wear my heart on my sleeve and give my all.

“I think those moments, in scoring the goal (against Finland), it kind of sinks in. Seeing the girls and how much they warmed to me and how welcome they made me feel, it is such an incredible journey to be a part of.”

Her journey to Australia actually starts in Cobh on the east side of Cork county. It’s an island town famed for Siona O’Sullivan and Stephen Ireland. There’s also Cobh Ramblers, their representative in the League of Ireland and one of the oldest teams in Munster.

Agg now joins that list as she declares for Ireland through her grandmother from the island that’s only connected to the county through a bridge, an hourly train, and a ferry.

She recently visited the town, and received a Cobh Ramblers jersey after visiting one of their women’s teams training sessions.

“I’ve got that shirt at home at my mom’s and honestly they made me feel so welcome. My cousins, Michael and Niamh, they arranged all of that,” she said.

“I went down and watched the girls do a training session. They are doing really great things down there. They have a really good facility with more and more teams.

“Just really exciting to go down and see that, just the warmth and how welcomed they made me feel. It was a really special moment and to get the shirt from them and to have the support from them.”

The family have been an endless source of support to Agg, as she gets ready to travel to Austrailia.

“They came over for the Zambia game,” he said, referencing Ireland’s 3-2 victory over the Copper Queens.

“My cousins, they all came down for the Zambia game. Even though I wasn’t in the squad, it was nice. I actually saw them in the crowd and I got to talk to them for a little bit.”