Northern Ireland’s Under-17 women’s team boss Alfie Wylie is putting his squad through their paces as they face Republic of Ireland in a double-header.
The two sides played the first of two games in Dublin on Wednesday and it was a share of the spoils as the match finished 0-0. The return match will be staged at The Dub in Belfast on Friday afternoon (2pm).
The double-header serves as vital preparation for the UEFA Women's Under-17 European Championship qualifiers in September when Northern Ireland take on Spain, Serbia and Iceland on 24, 27 and 30 respectively. All three of these games will be played in Serbia.
Wylie said: "This week’s two friendly games will be a strong test for the team and a good platform ahead of three tough qualifiers in September. Because of the pandemic, this will be the first time any of these players will have played for Northern Ireland at international level, so this is an important moment for them and their families.
“We have been working hard as a group and are looking forward to both games against the Republic of Ireland as we look towards the matches with Spain, Serbia and Iceland next month.
“The players have been working hard in training and the double-header will afford them a chance to show what they can do and also build up valuable game time at this level.”
Wylie has named a 22-strong Northern Ireland squad to face Republic of Ireland.
Goalkeepers: Ellie Scott (Lisburn Rangers), Lilie Crooks (Mid Ulster Ladies).
Defenders: Sarah Tweedie (Linfield), Niamh Coyle (Sion Swifts), Abi Sweetlove (Linfield) Sofie Keenan (Linfield), Megan Neill (Mid Ulster Ladies), Rebecca Magee (Glentoran), Molly Loughran (Lisburn Rangers), Clarah Quigg (Sion Swifts), Cerys Madden (Cliftonville).
Midfielders: Lucy Johnston (Linfield), Rhyleigh Marks (Linfield), Aoibhe O’Neill (Sion Swifts), Aimee Kerr (Carnmoney Ladies) Faye Loughran (Lisburn Rangers), Tara Gilmore (Carnmoney Ladies).
Forwards: Keri Halliday (Linfield) Chelsea Scott (Killen Rangers), Emily Reid (Ballymoney), Rachael McIntyre (Limavady Boys) Tara Reilly (Cliftonville).