Two changes to Northern Ireland Women’s squad to face Portugal

Northern Ireland Women's Kelsie Burrows returns to the squad
Northern Ireland’s Kelsie Burrows returns to the squad. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Northern Ireland boss Tanya Oxtoby has made a couple of changes to her squad for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2025 qualifying double header against Portugal.

Oxtoby has chosen a 23-strong squad for the games at Estádio Dr Magalhães Pessoa in Leiria on 31 May and at Mourneview Park in Lurgan on 4 June.

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

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

Oxtoby told ““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.”

Northern Ireland squad

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

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

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

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

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