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Thirty-three things to do in the 33 days until the women’s World Cup begins

Sticker books and wallcharts, praying and spoofing - there is much to be done in the coming month

Thirty-three days. That’s all there is until the opening game of the Women’s World Cup. Don’t worry if you don’t feel ready just yet – The Irish Times has you covered. In the spirit of the one-thing-a-day rule, beloved of some of the mindfulness-orientated corners of the internet, here’s a to-do list for the stretch between now and July 20th.

1 Book some days off. You’re going to want Thursday July 20th (Australia), Wednesday July 26th (Canada) and Monday July 31st (Nigeria). If you want to be really optimistic, throw in Monday August 7th as well. Worst comes to the worst, you’ll have an idle August Monday. You’ll be one up on the world without even trying.

2 Hide the alarm clock. The timing of Ireland’s matches has actually worked out pretty well, considering the tournament is on the other side of the rock. No 4am starts, in other words. The games against Australia and Nigeria are 11 in the morning, the Canada match is at 1pm. The earliest any of the knock-out games will be is 8am.

3 Do the lawn. The heatwave is apparently going to end the week before the World Cup.


4 Gen up on a few factoids here and there to throw around during the tournament. We’ll start you off.

5 Spoofer’s Guide #1: “Of course, Ireland have drawn two of the world’s top 10 teams, plus the highest-ranked African country…”

6 Go to Tallaght next Thursday to watch the first warm-up match, against Zambia. Tickets are still available – €20 for adults, €10 for kids. Family tickets are €50 for two adults and two kids.

7 Arm the kids with good, thick black markers for autographs afterwards.

8 Get the Panini sticker album.

9 Give up early on trying to fill the Panini sticker album. There are 580 rectangles to find stickers for. A packet of five costs €1. This does not mean, of course, that 116 packets will fill the book. Boffins have estimated that when you take duplicates into account, you would need to spend the guts of a grand if you were dead set on getting every last one. Don’t be dead set on getting every last one.

10 Make a wall chart.

11 Or buy a wall chart, whatever. Don’t let the do-gooders in The Irish Times bully you into arting and crafting you don’t want to do. This isn’t school.

12 Go to your library and get the COYGIG Activity Book. It’s free. It’s excellent.

13 Spoofer’s Guide #2: “Of course, Ireland are one of seven countries playing in their first-ever World Cup…” (All due thanks and praise to the COYGIG Activity Book for that one).

14 Grieve for the stars who will miss the tournament through injury. No Beth Mead. No Leah Williamson. No Fran Kirby. And that’s just England. Vivianne Miedema, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Sam Mewis – all out, all cruciate-cursed. On the upside, it looks like Spain’s Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas will recover in time.

15 Follow Ruesha Littlejohn on TikTok. She’s gas.


♬ original sound - Ruesh

16 Follow Joanne O’Riordan on Twitter. Also gas.

17 Follow all the big hitters. Mary Hannigan and Karen Duggan in these pages. Emma Duffy in The 42. Kathleen McNamee on Newstalk. This is where it’s all been leading. Let them tell you about it.

18 Spoofer’s Guide #3: “Of course, England didn’t concede a single goal in qualifying. Scored 80, conceded 0. The gap between the big teams and the rest is massive.”

19 Go to Tallaght for the big send-off game against France on July 6th. They’re one of the favourites for the tournament and they’ve been through a classic French meltdown in recent months, changing their manager since qualification.

20 Watch as Ireland play what will probably be close to their best team that night. Katie McCabe isn’t expected to feature against Zambia and the three US-based players Denise O’Sullivan, Sinead Farrelly and Marissa Sheva don’t arrive until after the first friendly. The France game will be the first and last chance for Irish fans to see them before the tournament starts.

21 Roar. Sing. Chant.

22 Smile gently at the men – and it will be men – who feel the need to sneer at what’s about to unfold. Be kind. It is they who will miss out. They are to be pitied, they are to be ignored.

23 Spoofer’s Guide #4: “Of course, the quality of the goalkeeping in the women’s game has gone through the roof. There were twice as many goals caused by goalkeeper error in the men’s Premier League than in the women’s one last season…”

24 Do a clear-out around the house. You’re going to be spending a lot of time indoors.

25 Set boundaries for loved ones. Inform them of that there will be a cordon sanitaire around you on the appointed days. Nobody gets to ring up for a chat unless they have inside info on Aoife Mannion’s recovery.

26 Make up a World Cup song. There’s talk that Mundy is trying to make July a thing again. Do better.

27 Get a jersey. Doesn’t have to be the real thing. Dunnes are knocking out green T-shirts that say simply: “Team Ireland 2023″. Good for this World Cup, for the Rugby World Cup, for Rhasidat in Budapest in August. Good for all seasons.

28 Spoofer’s Guide #5: “Of course, this is the first World Cup with 32 teams. We’re actually very unlucky to get such a tough draw. Some countries are going to be way out of their depth…”

29 Go outside and practice your Megan Campbell long throws. Make sure to warm up the shoulders first. Mind you don’t do yourself a mischief.

30 Make sure you have supplies in. Food, drink, stress balls, that kind of thing.

31 Try to sleep.

32 Pray.

33 Bathe in this, all of it. The first time only ever happens once.