Kenny Shiels names Northern Ireland squad for England clash

Northern Ireland women's national football team crest.

Kenny Shiels has named his Northern Ireland squad for the upcoming friendly with England at St George’s Park.

Shiels will bring his side to face the Lionesses on Tuesday 23rd February for a 12.30 kick off as they prepare for their Euro 2022 playoff fixture in April.

Who’s in and who’s out

The Northern Ireland boss has made seven changes to his squad that beat Belarus and the Faroe Island’s last time out in November and December as they sealed a historic place in the Euro 2022 playoffs.

Everton striker Simone Magill makes her return to the squad after missing those two games with a foot injury. Rebecca McKenna, Casey Howe, Rebecca Holloway and Louise McDaniel all return to the squad.

McDaniel, who has had spells at Blackburn Rovers and most recently Hearts of Midlothian, has returned to Northern Ireland. She was last involved in an October 2019 training camp.

Northern Ireland Women's boss Kenny Shiels overlooks squad training.
Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels overlooks squad training at Seaview in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry)

McDaniel made her Linfield debut aged just 14 in 2015 and scored six goals against Derry City in one game in 2018. Her international debut came against Kazakhstan in 2019 World Cup qualifying. She is now hoping to make an impression to Shiels. 

Former Derry City and Kilmarnock boss Shiels has also included two uncapped players in his squad in the form of goalkeeper Maddy Harvey-Clifford and Lisburn Rangers star Ella Haughey.

The McGuinness sisters, Kirsty and Caitlin, who featured in the wins over Belarus and the Faroe Island’s are both unavailable. Meanwhile, Rangers pair Demi Vance and Megan Bell and Glentoran duo Emma McMaster and Caragh Hamilton miss out due to injury.

Four other players involved in the last squad – Forfar Farmington goalkeeper Lauren Perry and Glentoran Women trio Joely Andrews, Danielle Maxwell and Kerry Beattie – also miss out this time.

Worthy opponents

It’s a good test for Northern Ireland as they will be coming up against some of the best players in the world. They will see the likes of Arsenal’s Leah Williamson and Jordan Nobbs, as well as Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp and The Best FIFA winner Lucy Bronze. Chelsea stars Fran Kirby and Bethany England are also named in the England squad.

The squad will meet up in Belfast next week before travelling across the Irish Sea to take on the World Cup semi-finalists of 2019.

Squad in full 

Goalkeepers: Jackie Burns (Glentoran Women), Becky Flaherty (Sheffield United Women), Maddy Harvey-Clifford (Crusaders Strikers)

Defenders: Ashley Hutton, Kelsie Burrows, Abbie Magee (all Linfield Ladies), Toni-Leigh Finnegan (Cliftonville Ladies), Julie Nelson (Crusaders Strikers), Ella Haughey (Lisburn Rangers), Rebecca Holloway (Birmingham City Women)

Midfielders: Nadene Caldwell, Samantha Kelly (both Glentoran Women), Marissa Callaghan (Cliftonville Ladies), Rachel Furness (Liverpool Ladies), Chloe McCarron (Birmingham City Women), Sarah McFadden (Durham Ladies), Ciara Watling (Charlton Athletic Women), Rebecca McKenna (Linfield Ladies), Louise McDaniel (Unattached)

Forwards: Simone Magill (Everton Women), Lauren Wade (Unattached), Emily Wilson (Crusaders Strikers), Casey Howe (Linfield Ladies)