This July marks one year since the Northern Ireland senior women’s team competed at UEFA Women’s EURO in England. We take a moment to look back on a momentous achievement.
Northern Ireland played all three of their Group A games at St Mary’s stadium, Southampton, between 7-15 July against Norway, Austria, and England and the team, backed by fans who travelled across the water, made history by reaching their first ever major tournament.
Simone Magill, whose appearance at it was cruelly cut short by injury during the first game, has reflected on the period: “It’s something that will always stay in our minds forever, defying all the odds when everything was against us to get there.
“We have fantastic youth coming through and it’s about pathing the way for them and giving them the opportunities and pathways that weren’t necessarily in place when we were coming up through the system.
“I think because we’ve had a little taste of it, it makes us hungry to go out and do it again.”
Now, strides are continuing to be made to ensure that the Euros qualification isn't a one off.
“We now see a year on that we have more staff in place, more of a workforce there to hopefully harness the rise in participation levels", said Danielle McDowell Tuffey, Irish FA Girls’ Elite Youth Academy Manager.
“There’s a lot of work to be done but the structures are in place now to hopefully push on and harness the next generation coming through.”
You can also watch the behind-the-scenes documentary ‘Why We Dance’ below. An exclusive insight to Northern Ireland’s UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 experience.