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Smaller Olympic squad leaves us all under pressure for Ireland place, says Megan Frazer

Megan Frazer

Ireland's women have been given psychological advice on how to cope with the pain of potentially missing out on selection for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Due to International Olympic Council rules, only 16 players will make the squad for Tokyo - the Games have been pushed back a year due to the coronavirus pandemic - instead of the usual 18.

Two reserves will also travel but they can only be called up in the event of injury or illness.

The players took part in a workshop organised by the Irish Olympic Federation when they were given tips on how to manage the selection issue.

Two women will suffer major disappointment, having more than likely been among those who helped Ireland qualify for their Olympic debut by beating Canada in a penalty shoot-out last November.

Megan Frazer, who missed the double-header due to a knee injury which has proved troublesome since she shattered her cruciate ligament more than three years ago, says it's a genuine concern.

The Londonderry woman said: "There is massive pressure especially as it's something we haven't experienced before in terms of selection.

"There are going to be some disappointed people while there's going to be so much happiness for others and we are such a close group so it will be difficult for all of us in a way.

"The workshops have helped us navigate our way through it but people have been training for this for 10 years (through the various age group teams) and they might not get to go, so it's something you have to deal with and be prepared for.

"We have all experienced disappointment in one way or another but this would certainly be on a pretty big scale.

"We all have to think of the possibility and, although it's a difficult one, it's part of sport so we just have to get on with it."

Frazer has played just 10 games for Ireland since her injury, having captained the side before it occurred in October 2016.

However, she is well on the way to recovery and, with another year to go before the Olympics, she will have plenty of time to get back to full fitness.

She added: "There's always an injury risk in the run-up for any of us and while we are all well motivated, no one is taking anything for granted in terms of selection."

Belfast Telegraph