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Tuesday 02 Apr 2019
Head coach Keith Gibson chooses 14-strong squad for two international futsal friendlies

The Northern Ireland senior women’s futsal squad are gearing up for two games in Gibraltar this weekend.

The matches against Gibraltar are due to be staged at the Tercentenary Centre on Saturday (6 April) and Sunday (7 April).

Included in the squad for the first time is Mairead McCann, who earned her place after taking part in open trials back in October.

Also new to the panel are four players who have previously been in training squads - Courtney Adamson, Siobhan Bell, Hannah Firth and Hollie Johnston.

The Northern Ireland women’s futsal team only played their first game a year ago – and competed in their first international tournament back in August when they took on Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden in a preliminary qualifying round for the inaugural UEFA Women’s Futsal Euros.

Head coach Keith Gibson said: “The team are delighted to be playing these games against Gibraltar as the next step in the development of this squad and this sport in Northern Ireland.

“These are the first international games since a very impressive performance in the Euros group of death last summer. These will be our first away games and the whole squad have been working really hard to take our game to the next level.”

There are no qualifiers scheduled for the senior women’s futsal team this year so the boss is aiming to arrange a series of friendlies to keep the squad ticking over.

He pointed out: “This will be a stern test for the squad against a team who have grown up playing futsal. I’m sure the players will rise to this challenge and I know they will learn a lot from this experience. 

“We have freshened up the squad with some new players and the whole squad are looking forward to the experience and we are confident of giving a good account of ourselves.”

The Northern Ireland senior women’s futsal squad:

Goalkeepers - Alice Harkness (Manchester Futsal Club), Megan McCabe (Portadown Ladies).

Defenders - Courtney Adamson (Portadown Ladies), Erin Hennitty (Comber Rec Ladies), Heather Mearns (Crusaders Strikers).

Wingers - Siobhan Bell (St James’ Swifts), Olivia Brown (Comber Rec Ladies), Hannah Firth (Ballymena United All Stars), Mairead McCann (Crusaders Strikers), Beth McKay (Spartans), Megan Weatherall (Cliftonville Ladies).

Forwards - Amber Dempster (Cliftonville Ladies), Hollie Johnston (Carnmoney Ladies), Rachel McConnell (Cliftonville Ladies).