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Northern Ireland Women's boss Alfie Wylie angry as his plea to English clubs falls on deaf ears

By Stuart McKinley

Alfie Wylie has expressed his disappointment at some of England's professional clubs for their lack of co-operation over members of his Northern Ireland women's squad.

Wylie's girls will go into tonight's Women's European Championship qualifier against the Czech Republic at Mourneview Park (7.30pm) with just one day of proper preparation behind them.

Some cross-channel based players turned out for their clubs at the weekend because the Irish FA was unable to enforce the international five-day rule as tonight's match - which was rearranged after being postponed in March when the Northern Ireland team couldn't get to the ground due to major traffic interruption - doesn't fall on a recognised international date.

"There were six or seven players who we couldn't get released despite making pleas to clubs," said Wylie.

"We explained the situation, that the match had originally been postponed and there were no other blank dates on the calendar.

"We even had a letter of support from Uefa, but our appeals fell on deaf ears.

"I just don't think it would have been the same if it had been England playing.

"Usually we have the girls in and get four or five days of preparation, this time we have had two and one of those was a recovery day for those who played on Sunday."

Wylie has at least received some good news. Emma Montgomery is in line to make her competitive Northern Ireland debut this evening after Fifa finally ratified her switch from Scotland.

The Irish FA has been waiting for a number of months to get clearance for the Celtic midfielder, who had figured in a number of Scottish squads, but never gained a full cap.

e The Irish FA has signed a four-year extension to their kit sponsorship deal with sportswear manufacturer adidas.

The agreement will now run until at least 2020.

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