Middle East Ladies Football Team of the Year
March 8, 2023
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we take a look at the top 12 players in the Middle East and select the current What’s The Craic DubEye Ladies Football Team of the Year.
With so many standout players to choose from, it’s no surprise that each person will have their own different best 12 senior players. However, the reality is that up to 20 or 30 players could easily contend for a spot on this team, given their extraordinary performances throughout the season.
Elaine O’Sullivan (Kerry and Sharjah Gaels): Unsung hero in the Sharjah team. Excellent shot-stopper with a flawless left boot. Single-handedly kept Sharjah in the final of their home tournament back in November, pulling off two point-blank saves.
Megan O’Shea (Limerick and Jumeirah Gaels): A model of consistency and one of the best players in the region. Has serious ability on both sides of the ball, whether that is making crucial interceptions in defence or driving forward to inspire Jumeirah.
Michaela Nolan (Kildare and Jumeirah Gaels): The Castledermot native has been a seminal part of the Jumeirah side since they were an intermediate outfit in 2019. Keeps it very simple and anchors the defence smartly. Gets through a bucket load of work and has the game intelligence to evade any pressure situations.
Lucy Wallace (Antrim and Sharjah Gaels): A ferocious marker who never shies away from any 50/50 challenge. The Belfast native is quick, decisive and very cool and calm, both on the ball and around the square. Pure class.
Emma Barber (Cork and Jumeirah Gaels): Versatile defender who goes about her business efficiently. The Douglas star is one of the best readers of the game and a key cog in a teak tough Jumeriah defence.
Nicole Conway (Galway and Abu Dhabi Na Fianna): Outstanding this year, coming up with big plays in each tournament. Steps up in times of crisis. Tenacious in defence, and strong and comfortable in possession. A real influential presence.
Bronagh Murphy (Galway and Abu Dhabi Na Fianna): Another player having a fine season. The Killererin native has settled into her midfield role and has been in sizzling form in the crucial middle third, covering huge ground. An important figure, especially in high-pressure games.
Aine Higgins (Galway and Sharjah Gaels): Heartbeat of the Sharjah team. The Tuam native is solid in defence but electric going forward. Scored the inspirational goal in the final in Qatar to steer Sharjah to victory.
Muireann Ni Scanaill (Dublin and Abu Dhabi Na Fianna): The Fingallians flyer is the conductor of the orchestra. Capable of covering acres of ground and has the vast skill level to break through any granite-like defence. Born for the big days with a super temperament. A real leader.
Sarah Henderson (Armagh and Jumeirah Gaels): One of the standout players all season, the Clann Éireann starlet was integral to Jumeirah reaching a first senior A league final last month. Extremely accurate shooter and has the skills to unlock any defence.
Sara Moore (Louth and Sharjah Gaels): Significant addition to Sharjah this year and has seamlessly transitioned into Middle East football. A tidy footballer and a handful for any defender such is her pace and accuracy. Hailing from St. Fechin’s, she is one of Sharjah’s leading scorers this year.
Amy Sweeney (Tipperary and Abu Dhabi): Always a menacing threat in attack. The Ballyporeen gem is excellent on the ball, proving a nuisance for even the best of defenders. A marquee player for Abu Dhabi with a deadly, accurate eye for a score.