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Leaders have a ball: Foster and O'Neill join football training


It all kicked off between Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill yesterday as Stormont's leaders joined a girls' football training session in Cookstown.

The First Minister and Deputy First Minister both hit the net as they took part in a kickabout with teams from Mid Ulster Ladies FC. The good-humoured encounter at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown comes a week after the Northern Ireland women's international team made history by qualifying for a major tournament for the first time ever.

Recent lockdown relaxations have enabled the girls at Mid Ulster Ladies to get back on the pitch to train. Competitive sports will resume today as part of the latest lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

Among the young footballers showcasing their talents yesterday was Lexie Magill, niece of one of NI Euro 2022 qualification heroes Simone Magill.

Both ministers admitted they were both looking forward to the reopening of hairdressers - both have appointments today.

For Ms O'Neill, it has come just in time, as she is on the Late, Late Show with Ryan Tubridy tonight.

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Mrs Foster joked that the timing looked suspicious. "Is it all set-up? Is that why you wanted the hairdressers open tomorrow?" the DUP leader quipped.


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