INTERNATIONAL: Wylie relishing platform for Northern Ireland players provided by UEFA finals

Alfie Wylie. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Alfie Wylie. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Alfie Wylie is relishing the international platform provided by the forthcoming UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship for his Northern Ireland players.

Wylie, the Northern Ireland national women’s coach, confirmed his final 18-strong squad on Saturday at a special fun day in Belfast’s Victoria Square.

“The players are really looking forward to the tournament and to competing against some of the world’s best teams,” said Wylie. “While it will be difficult against such top-class opposition the players are aiming to give a good account of themselves and to do the country proud.

“There is no doubt that the tournament experience will be invaluable for future qualifying campaigns and help the players in their aim to become professional players.

“I could not be more pleased with the effort and commitment that this remarkable group of girls have shown in recent months.

“The quality of the squad is testament to the great work that is being carried out in the Girls’ Regional Excellence Programme and the clear pathway which now exists in Northern Ireland.

“We know that we will have huge support over the course of the UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship and my hope is that our participation will help inspire young girls across Northern Ireland to play football and to one day dream of wearing the green shirt.”

Three players in the final panel have been promoted from the under 17s - Lauren Perry, Megan Bell and Emily Wilson - alongside USA-born Megan Riley and Leyla McFarland.

The tournament kicks off on Tuesday, August 8 with fixtures hosted at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, Ballymena Showgrounds, Shamrock Park in Portadown and Lurgan’s Mourneview Park.

The first game will take place against Spain on August 8 at the National Stadium before facing Scotland in Lurgan on Friday, August 11 and the final group test with Germany at Ballymena Showgrounds.

The full squad: Kirsty McCaughtry (Crusaders), Lauren Perry (Linfield), Courtney Moore (Crusaders), Teresa Burns (Sion Swifts), Emma McMaster (Cliftonville), Yasmin White (Glentoran), Izzy Coppell (Leicester City), Lauren Robson (Linfield), Brenna McPartlan (Man City), Megan Riley (Challenge USA), Chloe Orr (Mid Ulster), Louise McDaniel (Linfield), Abbie Magee (Linfield), Megan Bell (Linfield), Emily Wilson (Crusaders), Rebecca Bassett (Mid Ulster), Leyla McFarland (USA), Morganne Beggs (Crusaders).