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Unity is strength for Ireland number one Courtney Brosnan

The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper’s union is a delicate blend of camaraderie and competition.

Courtney Brosnan is the undisputed number one, but close comrades Grace Moloney and Sophie Whitehouse are crucial to maintaining high standards.

Brosnan has developed into a supreme stopper for the Girls in Green. A brilliant World Cup qualification campaign was followed by three strong performances at the tournament itself; indeed Brosnan’s magnificent save to deny Nigeria’s Uchenna Kanu in the final group game was one of Ireland's best moments in Australia.

Life as the last line of defence is notoriously fickle, a high-wire act where a single mistake can cost your team the game and stain a hard-earned reputation.

It is, therefore, very healthy for Ireland to have a trio of keepers who keep each other honest on and off the training pitch.

"It's a great group of goalkeepers here," said Brosnan ahead of Friday night's huge Euro 2025 qualifier against France in Metz.

"Grace and Sophie have been in for a long time now and I think we have such a good relationship. Grace is one of my really close friends so it's nice to have someone in your corner that knows what it's like to be a goalkeeper and can kind of give you feedback and you have honest conversations with.

"We're all talking to each other about where we can be better, what can we do, where people see different things. I think that's great competition that we have and obviously there's a lot of jokes flying around too which is always fun.

"We're all each other's number one fans but at the end of the day we all want to be the one that steps on the pitch to play. It’s that balance of that healthy competition where we're there for each other, we're backing each other up but we're also

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