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Tuesday 01 Oct 2019
Northern Ireland WU19s to face Wales, Moldova and Norway in mini tournament

Northern Ireland Women’s U19s are taking part in a qualifying round for the 2020 UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship over the next seven days.

Norway, Wales and Moldova will provide the opposition in a mini tournament, with the games being staged across Northern Ireland.

Matchday one sees Alfie Wylie’s side take on Wales at Shamrock Park in Portadown tomorrow (Wednesday 2 October) at 7.30pm, while Norway and Moldova will face each other at Dungannon’s Stangmore Park (2pm).

On Saturday the girls in green and white will lock horns with Moldova at The Showgrounds in Ballymena (7.30pm) and the Norwegians and Welsh will be in action at Shamrock Park (2pm).

The third and final matchday in Qualifying Group 5 is next Tuesday (8 October) and there will be two games in Belfast. Northern Ireland are due to come up against Norway at Seaview (2pm) as the Moldovans and Welsh battle it out at nearby Solitude (2pm).

The top two sides in 12 groups plus the four third-placed teams with the best record against the top two in their section will go into an elite round draw on 21 November, with the elite round games in spring 2020. Seven teams will eventually join hosts Georgia in the finals in July 2020.

WU19s boss Alfie Wylie has chosen a 20-strong panel for the mini tournament and he believes he has assembled a strong squad for the three matches. 

His group features several players who have performed on the international stage before – and who also featured regularly in Northern Ireland’s top flight this season, including eight members of the Linfield Ladies squad who won the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership title.

Northern Ireland WU19 squad for qualifiers against Wales, Moldova and Norway: 

Goalkeepers – Lauren Perry (Linfield Ladies), Maddy Clifford (Crusaders Strikers).

Defenders – Libby Gilmore (Bristol City Ladies), Kelsie Burrows (Linfield Ladies), Beth Chalmers (Crusaders Strikers), Naomi Donnan (Linfield Ladies), Kirsty Cameron (Linfield Ladies), Toni-Leigh Finnegan (Cliftonville Ladies).

Midfielders – Mia Fitzsimmons (Linfield Ladies), Jessica Rea (Crusaders Strikers), Kerry Beattie (Glentoran Women), Rebecca McKenna (Linfield Ladies), Beth Smyth (Manchester City Women), Joely Andrews (Glentoran Women), Sasha Clare (Crusaders Strikers).

Forwards – Caitlin McGuinness (Linfield Ladies), Faith Johnston (Crusaders Strikers), Casey Howe (Linfield Ladies), Alexandra Collighan (Life University Atlanta, USA), Danielle Maxwell (Glentoran Women).

Image: Manchester City Women midfielder Beth Smyth has been included in the Northern Ireland WU19 panel for the mini tournament.