Northern Ireland Senior women's squad named for Faroe Islands clash

Thu, Sep 10 2020

Northern Ireland currently sit fourth in the group with two points after two draws against Wales, who currently occupy second in the group. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Kenny Shiels has named his Northern Ireland senior Women's squad for the Euro 2022 qualifier with the Faroe Islands later on this month. 

Northern Ireland currently sit fourth in the group with two points after two draws against Wales who currently occupy second in the group as well as top seeds Norway who lead the way with 12 points. 

Nine group winners, plus three runners-up with the best records will automatically qualify for the Women’s Euros in England. The other six runners-up will play off for the remaining three berths in the 16-team finals. 

The last time Northern Ireland played was in the Pinatar Cup against Scotland in March before they were due to play the Faroe Islands and Belarus in the qualifiers in April and June, but those matches were postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Kirsty McGuinness who left Linfield Ladies with sister Caitlin to join Sion Swifts in the summer has been recalled to the squad after last featuring against the Netherlands in June  2018.

Goalkeeper Lauren Perry is also back in the squad after she recently signed for Scottish club Forfar Farmington under the guidance of former Linfield Ladies boss Ryan McConville. 

Glentoran midfielder Nadene Caldwell returns after a lengthy time out of the squad while midfielder Samantha Kelly also of Glentoran has also impressed to earn a recall into the fold. 

Linfield Ladies defender Abbie Magee, Glentoran Women midfielder Joely Andrews and Glens striker Kerry Beattie have all been called up into the senior squad by Shiels for the very first time ahead of next Friday's meeting with the Faroe Islands in Torshavn. 

Liverpool vice-captain Rachel Furness who opened her club’s goal scoring account for the season in a 1-1 draw with Durham in the FA Women's Championship is included alongside Simone Magill who scored in Everton's 4-0 victory over Bristol City in the opening game of the Women's Super League on Sunday. 

Chloe McCarron who became the first player in Northern Ireland Women's history to move from a top flight Irish League club to a Women's Super League side, leaving Linfield for Birmingham City has been included in the 20 player squad. 

Lauren Wade who scored for Glasgow City in the Champions League against German champions Wolfsburg has also received a call-up ahead of the crucial game. 

Sheffield United Women goalkeeper Becky Flaherty, Linfield Ladies defender Kelsie Burrows, Rangers Women midfielder Megan Bell, Glentoran midfielder Emma McMaster and Sheffield United defender Natalie Johnson all miss out on the squad due to injury. 

After next week’s game against the Faroes they are scheduled to play Belarus away on 27 October, Belarus at home on 27 November and the Faroes at home on 1 December to complete their Group C qualification campaign.                                              If they win their remaining four matches in the group then Northern Ireland will have a chance of competing for a place at Women’s Euro 2022, which is being staged in England.

Euro 2022 was originally scheduled for 2021 but due to the Coronavirus pandemic was pushed back by a year. 

Northen Ireland squad: 

Goalkeepers: Jackie Burns, Lauren Perry.

Defenders: Toni-Leigh Finnegan, Ashley Hutton, Abbie Magee, Julie Nelson, Rachel Newborough, Demi Vance.

Midfielders: Joely Andrews, Nadene Caldwell, Marissa Callaghan, Rachel Furness, Samantha Kelly, Chloe McCarron, Sarah McFadden, Rebecca McKenna.

Strikers: Kerry Beattie, Simone Magill, Kirsty McGuinness, Lauren Wade.