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Friday 17 May 2024
Senior women’s squad for Portugal double header named

Northern Ireland senior women’s team boss Tanya Oxtoby has made a couple of changes to her squad for the upcoming double header against Portugal. 

Oxtoby has chosen a 23-strong panel for the Euro qualifiers against the Portuguese at Estádio Dr Magalhães Pessoa in Leiria on 31 May and at Mourneview Park in Lurgan on 4 June.

Cliftonville Ladies pair Kelsie Burrows and Danielle Maxwell return to the squad after missing Northern Ireland’s opening two games in the league phase of qualifiers for UEFA Women’s Euro 2025.

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

Oxtoby said: ““Make no mistake, this is going to be a real challenge for us against a very good side.

“We are a team in transition with a lot of youth coming through and these two fixtures will really test us.

“Results are, of course, important but a good performance against a strong side like Portugal will stand us in good stead and give the team a lot of confidence. And in a high performing environment, confidence can be crucial.”

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.

Missing out in the upcoming international window is London City Lionesses midfielder Connie Scofield, who made her debut against Malta but then missed the second game in April through injury, and Cliftonville Ladies midfielder Louise McDaniel, who replaced Scofield in the panel for the Bosnia game.

Also not included this time around are Cliftonville Ladies defender Abbie Magee and Crusaders Strikers defender Rachel McLaren.

Reading Women goalkeeper Jackie Burns, who returned for last month’s games after recovering from achilles and shoulder injuries which kept her out of action last year, retains her place in the panel.

Also included once again is Burnley Women midfielder Brenna McPartlan, who returned to the senior squad in April seven years after making her debut as a teenager in a friendly against Wales. She earned her second cap against the Bosnians.

Athlone Town Ladies striker Casey Howe, who came off the subs bench in the game against the Bosnians after missing the Malta game through illness, retains her place in the panel as well. Prior to last month’s qualifiers she had not been in the senior international squad since Kenny Shiels’ tenure.

Glentoran Women striker Emily Wilson, who was a late addition to the squad in April after shaking off an injury, is in the panel for the upcoming games, too.

However, Birmingham City Women defender/midfielder Ellie Mason is still not available. She is recovering from a foot injury picked up in a club training session back in March.

The Northern Ireland squad for the games against the Portuguese is as follows:

Goalkeepers – Jackie Burns (Reading Women), Maddy Harvey-Clifford (Crusaders Strikers), Lauren Perry (Montrose Women).

Defenders - Rebecca Holloway (Birmingham City Women), Rebecca McKenna (Charlton Athletic Women), Laura Rafferty (Southampton Women), Demi Vance (Glentoran Women), Rachel Dugdale (Reading Women), Kelsie Burrows (Cliftonville Ladies).

Midfielders - Joely Andrews, Nadene Caldwell and Chloe McCarron (all Glentoran Women), Megan Bell (Hearts Women, on loan from Rangers Women), Marissa Callaghan (Cliftonville Ladies), Brenna McPartlan (Burnley Women).

Forwards: Kerry Beattie and Emily Wilson (both Glentoran Women), Simone Magill (Aston Villa Women), Lauren Wade (Reading Women), Keri Halliday (Linfield Women), Casey Howe (Athlone Town Ladies), Caragh Hamilton (Lewes Women), Danielle Maxwell (Cliftonville Ladies).