Shiels names Northern Ireland squad for Euro 2021 qualifiers
Kenny Shiels has named his Northern Ireland squad for the upcoming Euro 2021 qualifiers with Wales and Norway.
Northern Ireland face Norway, who reached the quarter-finals of the summers Women’s World Cup in France, in Stavanger next Friday (8 November) before taking on Wales at Seaview Stadium in Belfast on Tuesday 12 November.
Shiels has decided to give youth a chance as a new era of Women’s international football in the country commences as Six of the seven players coming in have featured regularly in the Northern Ireland Women’s U19 and U17 squads in recent years, while some have also previously featured in the senior team.
Lauren Perry now of Blackburn Rovers comes into the side alongside former Linfield teammate and new Rovers singing Kelsie Burrows.
Cliftonville Ladies defender Toni-Leigh Finnegan, Glentoran Women midfielder Emma McMaster and Linfield Ladies strikers Casey Howe and Caitlin McGuinness. And Sheffield United Women goalkeeper Rebecca Flaherty, who was a late call-up to the previous squad, have also been included.
Jackie Burns and Emma Higgins, defenders Claragh Connor, Natalie Johnson and Yasmin White plus midfielders Kerry Montgomery and Rebecca Holloway who were all included in the last squad have been left out for the upcoming fixtures.
10 players have been included who play in the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership that goes to show the local game is growing from strength to strength.
Experienced defenders and centurions Julie Nelson and Ashley Hutton are also both included in the 20 player squad.
Lauren Wade who won the league with her club Thróttur Reykjavík in Iceland this year is included alongside Everton striker and Northern Irelands record quickest goalscorer Simone Magill.
Nine group winners, plus three runners-up with the best records, will automatically qualify for the Women’s Euros in England in 2021. The other six runners-up will play off in October 2020 for the remaining three berths in the 16-team finals.
Northern Ireland squad
Hi my names Josh Bunting I study Sports Journalism at UCFB Etihad Campus , Reporter at Sheffield Wednesday football club.