The squad taking part in the seven-month training camp to prepare the Northern Ireland team for the UEFA Women’s Euros this summer has been finalised.
The 22-strong group features Northern Ireland-based players who do not play the game professionally in England or Scotland.
Seven players from NIFL Dankse Bank Women’s Premiership winners Glentoran Women have been included by senior women’s team manager Kenny Shiels, while five players from league runners-up Cliftonville Ladies are in the training squad.
Stepping up to a senior squad for the first time is 18-year-old Sion Swifts Ladies striker Cora Chambers, who performed strongly for Northern Ireland Women’s U19s in Euro qualifiers back in the autumn.
Making a return to the set-up is Linfield Ladies midfielder Vicky Carleton, who was last in the senior panel in 2019.
Twenty-four-year-old Carleton, who joined Linfield in March 2020, began her career with Ballymena United before moving to Glentoran and then over to England with Team Solent and Women’s Super League Two side Lewes.
WU19 international Lilie Woods (18) is back in the senior squad, too. The Mid Ulster Ladies keeper first took part in a senior training camp in early 2019 when she was just 16 and in 2020 she was in the squad that competed at the Pinatar Cup in Spain.
The training squad features:
Goalkeepers – Maddy Harvey-Clifford (Crusaders Strikers), Lilie Woods (Mid Ulster Ladies).
Defenders – Kelsie Burrows and Toni-Leigh Finnegan (both Cliftonville Ladies), Ashley Hutton and Abbie Magee (both Linfield Ladies), Julie Nelson and Rachel McLaren (both Crusaders Strikers).
Midfielders – Nadene Caldwell, Samantha Kelly, Joely Andrews, Chloe McCarron, Caragh Hamilton (all Glentoran Women), Marissa Callaghan and Louise McDaniel (both Cliftonville Ladies), Vicky Carleton (Linfield Ladies).
Forwards – Lauren Wade and Danielle Maxwell (both Glentoran Women), Kirsty McGuinness and Caitlin McGuinness (both Cliftonville Ladies), Emily Wilson (Crusaders Strikers), Cora Chambers (Sion Swifts Ladies).
The non-residential full-time training camp for the 22 players is based at Newforge Sports Complex in south Belfast.
Squad members who play professionally in England and Scotland are remaining with their clubs to train except if selected for games in international windows in February, April and June ahead of the tournament.
The next competitive fixtures for Northern Ireland are two FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers (European Qualifying Group D) in April – away to Austria on the 8th and home to England on the 12th.
Their first game at this summer’s Euros will be against Norway on 7 July followed by matches versus Austria (11 July) and tournament hosts England (15 July). All three of Northern Ireland’s group games at the Euros are being staged at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.
They are also expected to play friendlies in February and June ahead of the Euros.