“Everything has just happened the way it was supposed to; I believe it was written in the stars for us tonight.
“And all the young girls watching this... dream of wearing the green shirt because it will be the most amazing time you’ll ever have...”
Yes – and as brilliantly articulated by Northern Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan – dreams really do come true.
Marissa and her team-mates were certainly in dreamland last night as the Northern Ireland women made football history by beating Ukraine to reach the Euro 2022 finals.
Scenes of unbridled joy at Seaview in Belfast, and the sound of car horns tooting on the Shore Road and beyond, followed goals by Marissa and Nadene Caldwell, which confirmed our girls’ first-ever qualification for a leading tournament.
It’s a stunning achievement for a national team that only reformed in 2004 – in many ways, the ultimate underdog story.
A night to remember for so many reasons - not least because of what their play-off victory represents for the players, the coach Kenny Shiels, the delirious fans, for women’s football - and for this bruised and battered wee country itself.
In a place that has recently been blighted by a resurgence of violence, the 4-1 aggregate victory offered some respite by a sport that successfully rooted out sectarianism many years ago.
Having gone into the second leg of this tie only slight favourites, Northern Ireland compounded how competitive advantage emulates from confidence.
But they also oozed sheer determination, skill and superb fitness. It was a fabulous result – they made their highly-rated rivals look very ordinary in both games.
Shiels, meanwhile, has credited with gifting the girls with a winning mentality and for teaching them the all-important axiom that victory can only follow self-belief.
When he took over 18 months ago, the team was in bits but the vastly experienced manager brought positivity and in a style of play that has stood them in good stead, and led them to this unprecedented achievement.
These talented history-makers didn’t just crack another glass ceiling; they kicked it wide open with their feet showing younger generations how to reach for the sky in what was once a male-dominated sport.
The green and white girls demonstrated how putting in the hard yards can make dreams become a reality.
And in doing so, they have put women’s football on the map while becoming role models for young girls coming through.
They have taught the younger generations to follow their hearts and not to be shackled to what are perceived to be more female-friendly sports like netball.
More than that though, it was justification for giving up their free time, for all making so many sacrifices and for forgoing precious moments with the family for skirmishes on the football field.
They defied the odds and overcame challenges – including injuries and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – but until last night Sarah McFadden told how they didn’t dream of success “because it was unrealistic”.
“A lot of us were near retiring before Kenny came in,” she said.
“We thought we can’t keep doing this. It’s a lot of time. We make a lot of sacrifices, all of us.
“I’ve got a three-year-old I leave at home for 10 days and a lot of girls are leaving family behind all those nights at training. It’s really hard.
“It’s not like any of us are full-time professionals.”
Durham-based teacher Sarah, who said she’ll return to the classroom on Monday, said a lot of the time the players ask themselves if it’s worth it.
“A moment like this is the reason we keep playing,” she said.
“It’s the reason we make all those sacrifices and we’re happy to do the 12-hour days every day of the week because if we’re going to the Euros next summer, that’s a life-changing moment.”
With few giving Northern Ireland a chance going into the play-off, they’ve shown everyone that the underdogs were far from sleeping.
They provided us with some good news for a change – heaven knows we all needed a bit of the feelgood factor.
Sarah said: “We’re still living in a dreamland.”
Ahead of Tuesday night’s game former Stephen Craigan, who captained the men’s team on many occasions, told me: “Women’s football has been in the shadows for too long.”
Not any more. England, here they come.