Northern Ireland squad for #WEURO2022 qualifying play-off push

Charlton Athletic's Ciara Watling returns
Charlton Athletic’s Ciara Watling returns to the Irish squad. (PA Images)

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels has named a 23-strong squad for the forthcoming home Women’s Euro qualifiers against Belarus and Faroe Islands.

A victory against Belarus at Seaview next Friday (27 November) followed by another win against the Faroes at the Belfast stadium the following Tuesday (1 December) will earn his side a play-off for a place at Women’s Euro 2022.

However, Shiels will have to do without Everton striker Simone Magill, who suffered a recurrence of a previous injury and is not available for selection, while Sheffield United defender Natalie Johnson also misses out.

Four changes in an expanded squad see experienced Charlton Athletic midfielder Ciara Watling return after a long absence, young in-form Crusaders Strikers forward Emily Wilson, Cliftonville defender Toni-Leigh Finnegan and Glentoran striker Kerry Beattie.

Kirsty McGuinness and Caitlin McGuinness have retained their places in the squad and could become the first pair of sisters to play for Northern Ireland in the same game.

Northern Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Jackie Burns (Glentoran), Becky Flaherty (Sheffield Utd), Lauren Perry (Forfar Farmington).

Defenders: Ashley Hutton, Kelsie Burrows, Abbie Magee (all Linfield), Toni-Leigh Finnegan (Cliftonville), Julie Nelson (Crusaders Strikers), Demi Vance (Rangers).

Midfielders: Joely Andrews, Nadene Caldwell, Samantha Kelly (all Glentoran), Marissa Callaghan (Cliftonville), Rachel Furness (Liverpool), Chloe McCarron (Birmingham City), Sarah McFadden (Durham).

Forwards: Danielle Maxwell (Glentoran), Kerry Beattie (Glentoran), Caitlin McGuinness (Sion Swifts), Kirsty McGuinness (Sion Swifts), Lauren Wade (Glasgow City).

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