Katie McCabe of Arsenal women. West Ham United Women v Arsenal Women, WSL football match, Chigwell Construction Stadium, London, UK - 12 Sep 2020 Photo: Kunjan Malde for The FA

Republic of Ireland head coach Pauw hails the maturity shown by Arsenal’s McCabe

Republic of Ireland head coach Vera Pauw has hailed the maturity shown by Arsenal full-back Katie McCabe as the player edges towards a 50th senior international cap for her country.

The 25-year-old has been named in the latest squad for this month’s international friendlies against Denmark and Belgium and she will hit the half-century appearance milestone should she feature in both of those games.

FAWSL Full-Time spoke with Republic of Ireland head coach Pauw earlier today and she hailed the maturity which McCabe has shown is moulding her game to allow her to adapt to different playing positions and progress as player.

“Winning your 50th cap for your country is an amazing moment in your career,” Pauw said. “I remember myself, it is something that makes you so proud and we will make sure that we celebrate that.

“Katie is our captain, is our leader in the group and we have all seen how she has developed for her club, how she has developed from a player who made the squad into a starting player in the left full-back position. She prefers to play in that role (for the Republic of Ireland) if we can find someone in-front of her so she can have a better impact in our attack.

“She has matured so much in the time that I have known her in all of her roles that she has so I have huge confidence in her and she has so much trust from the group. She is one of the key players in helping us create a good team environment in which every single player feels comfortable.

“She is an amazing player and I know that Ireland are so proud of her.”

McCabe made her senior debut for the Republic of Ireland in a 1-1 draw against Hungary in an Istra Cup fixture in 2015. The player has been an ever-present in her country’s last two qualifying campaigns, scoring six goals in 16 appearances. The full-back was on target for Pauw’s side in their last competitive fixture as they were defeated 3-1 by Germany in Dublin in December.

Pauw has fielded McCabe in a number of positions in recent matches including both sides of the midfield and in attack. The player is likely to continue to play higher up the field for her country than her club unless her head coach can find a suitable replacement to allow her to slot in at her favoured full-back position.

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