Belfast Telegraph

Micahel O'Neill's men can lift Northern Ireland women

By Stuart McKinley

Northern Ireland women's manager Alfie Wylie has used the carrot of emulating the achievement of their male counterparts to motivate his players as they start their own European Championship qualifying campaign.

The Irish FA has put together an goals montage from the glorious Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, as Northern Ireland secured a place at next summer's finals in France.

As the girls prepare to face Georgia in Tblisi this afternoon in their opening game of the Women's Euro 2017 qualifiers, Wylie wants them to do all they can to fulfil their own dreams.

"There has been a great lift in Northern Ireland football recently and we hope to continue that," said Wylie.

"Michael O'Neill and the boys have done us proud and done fantastically well.

"We watched the Dare to Dream video and showed all the highlights and said to the girls 'why not?' We've got to have dreams also.

"If we can improve on the last campaign it will raise the profile of women's football and it would be great if everyone was shouting and bragging about the women's team."

Wylie's team has travelled without experienced captain Ashley Hutton, meaning trying to plug a gap in a defence missing a player who has over 60 caps to her name.

Goalkeeper Emma Higgins is the most capped player in the squad and she too wants to keep the good times rolling for Northern Ireland international football.

"We're all excited, we're buzzing," she said.

"We've a great squad and the tempo of the training has been fantastic.

"We want to keep the Green and White Army going forward."

Belfast Telegraph


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