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Friday 24 May 2024
Bell withdraws from senior women’s squad

Midfielder Megan Bell has had to withdraw from the Northern Ireland senior women’s squad for the upcoming double header against Portugal.

Bell, who is currently on loan at Hearts Women from Rangers Women, picked up a hamstring injury in training – and that has ruled her out of the two games against the Portuguese.

The 23-year-old midfielder is being replaced in the Northern Ireland squad for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2025 qualifiers by Cliftonville Ladies midfielder Louise McDaniel, who was a late call-up for last month’s away qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Senior women’s team boss Tanya Oxtoby said Bell, who has won 31 caps and scored three goals for her country to date, will be a loss.

Oxtoby said: “We are obviously really disappointed for Megan. She’s an integral part of what we have been trying to build. She has been in great form for us, so we are gutted for her that she is not going to be involved in the upcoming international window.

“Naturally, she has got our support. While it’s disappointing for her, it’s a great opportunity for Louise and I am sure she will bring some attacking flair to the group.”

Northern Ireland are due to face the Portuguese at Estádio Dr Magalhães Pessoa in Leiria next Friday (31 May) and at Mourneview Park in Lurgan on 4 June.

Portugal are the top seeds in League B Group 3, while Northern Ireland are the third seeds.

The senior women’s team registered a 0-0 home draw with Malta and a 3-1 away win against second seeds Bosnia and Herzegovina last month as they got their B3 campaign under way.