Northern Ireland Women’s squad to face England and Austria

Simone Magill returns for Northern Ireland
Simone Magill returns to the Northern Ireland squad. (Photo: Charles McQuillan /Shekicks.net uses pictures provided by Getty Images)

Northern Ireland Women’s manager Kenny Shiels has made a couple of changes to his squad for this month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers against England and Austria.

Everton striker Simone Magill returns to the fold after being absent for the 4-0 victories over both Luxembourg and Latvia in September due to injury, while midfielder Joely Andrews is also back after impressing during Glentoran’s title run-in.

Missing out this time are Cliftonville forward Caitlin McGuinness and Glentoran striker Danielle Maxwell.

Young Cliftonville defender Toni-Leigh Finnegan is not available due to injury, while still recovering from long term injuries are Rangers midfielder Megan Bell and Linfield pair Ashley Hutton and Abbie Magee.

Northern Ireland women’s team are set to play at Wembley Stadium for the first time on Saturday 23 October, before a home qualifier against Austria on Tuesday 26 October.

Shiels has gone with his usual blend of youth and experience in his 23-strong panel for this month’s tough assignments.

His squad features seven Glentoran players, who are fresh from securing the NIFL Danske Bank Women’s Premiership title and the Toalsbet.com County Antrim Cup.

All seven will be aiming to help their club secure a treble when they take on Crusaders Strikers in the Electric Ireland-sponsored Irish FA Women’s Challenge Cup Final at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park tomorrow (15 October, 7.45pm kick-off).

Meanwhile, the Irish FA has agreed to release more tickets to Northern Ireland fans for the game against England at Wembley next week. They are available at https://am.ticketmaster.com/irishfa/buy.

Northern Ireland squad

Goalkeepers – Jackie Burns (Lee University/Glentoran), Becky Flaherty (Huddersfield Town), Maddy Harvey-Clifford (Crusaders Strikers).

Defenders – Julie Nelson (Crusaders Strikers), Rebecca McKenna (Lewes), Rebecca Holloway (Birmingham City), Laura Rafferty (Southampton FC), Kelsie Burrows (Cliftonville), Demi Vance (Rangers).

Midfielders – Marissa Callaghan and Louise McDaniel (both Cliftonville), Nadene Caldwell, Chloe McCarron, Caragh Hamilton and Joely Andrews (all Glentoran), Rachel Furness (Liverpool), Sarah McFadden (Durham), Ciara Watling (Southampton FC).

Forwards – Kerry Beattie and Lauren Wade (both Glentoran), Simone Magill (Everton), Kirsty McGuinness (Cliftonville), Emily Wilson (Crusaders Strikers).

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