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Wednesday 12 Jul 2023
Atmosphere in NI Women camp ‘super’ ahead of clash with Scots

Captain Marissa Callaghan insists the Northern Ireland senior women’s squad are in a good place ahead of tomorrow night’s friendly against Scotland.

The Scots are ranked 23rd in the world and are arguably stronger than when the two countries last met in the summer of 2021. 

But Northern Ireland, currently occupying 45th position in the Coca-Cola FIFA Women’s World Ranking list, have also made good progress in that time, appearing at the Women’s Euros last summer and registering a record points haul in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers. 

Callaghan (pictured) pointed out: “The camp has been brilliant so far. The prep has been outstanding in terms of what the management have done. The atmosphere is super. We are just delighted we are back together again.”

She said the 23 members of the squad have looked sharp in training and everyone is fully fit.

And the skipper further pointed out: “Everyone wants to start the game (against Scotland). Everyone wants to be ready. It makes it more competitive when everyone is fit and healthy. 

“The management team have really done their homework. We are all really looking forward to getting out there and to perform.” 

She also said it was fantastic to have striker Simone Magill back in the panel for the first time since she picked up an ACL injury at last summer’s Euros in England. 


Interim Northern Ireland Women manager Gail Redmond has chosen a squad blended with youth and experience for tomorrow evening’s challenge match against Scotland at Dens Park in Dundee (7.35 start) – and a second friendly against Czechia in Opava next Tuesday (18 July). 

The team captain said the upcoming encounters represented “two fantastic games” in preparation for Northern Ireland’s first UEFA Women’s Nations League campaign this autumn. 

The most recent meeting between Northern Ireland Women and Scotland Women was a friendly at Seaview in June 2021. 

Both teams created plenty of chances during that game in Belfast, however a second half penalty from Scotland substitute Caroline Weir was enough to give the visitors a 1-0 victory. 

Meanwhile, Cliftonville Ladies defender Abbie Magee has had to withdraw from the squad due to an injury picked up during the Reds’ All-Island Cup semi-final victory over Cork City at the weekend. 

Magee has been replaced in the panel by Glentoran Women defender/midfielder Emma McMaster. The 24-year-old has six senior caps to date. 

McMaster, a former Northern Ireland Women’s U19s captain, made her last senior appearance against Scotland in the Pinatar Cup in Spain back in March 2020, although she has been named in senior squads since then, most notably for the two Women’s Euro play-off matches against Ukraine which saw Northern Ireland Women qualify for a first major tournament.