Northern Ireland winger Niall McGinn says he’s looking forward to getting behind the women’s team in the Euro 2022 finals.
McGinn and his team-mates savoured the big occasion at the Euro 2016 finals in France and now it’s the girls’ turn to shine in a major tournament.
Michael O’Neill’s side made history as Northern Ireland reached a European Championship finals for the first time and now Kenny Shiels’ side is winning admirers with their heroics.
The tournament in England will see Northern Ireland take on Norway, Austria and the hosts at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.
Dundee ace McGinn, who has 73 caps, was among the crowd of over 15,000 who watched Northern Ireland’s clash against England at Windor Park, in a big World Cup qualifier on an historic night in April.
“I was lucky enough to get to the Northern Ireland women’s game against England when I arrived back from Scotland. I was due to go back the next day but when I knew the game was on, I was lucky to get a boat home and get to the game,” said McGinn.
“It was a great experience to see 15,000 or 16,000 fans turn up for a women’s game. It was unbelievable and it was a great atmosphere.
“I was just happy to be there because I know the women support the guys a lot and I think it’s nice for myself being a current Northern Ireland men’s player to go and support the women.
“Everyone always pushes support towards each other and we just want to wish them all the best for the Euros when it comes around.”
Northern Ireland, who qualified for this summer’s finals with a play-off victory over Ukraine, have reaped the rewards of slick preparation and hard work.
“They have worked tremendously hard and I know Kenny (Shiels) and Dean (Shiels) work tremendously hard behind the scenes as well,” said McGinn.
“They’re great guys who I’ve known over the years. There are good people there and the right people to make them go out and work hard. They’ll go there with a real hunger to do and it’s about going and enjoying it, hopefully picking up a result or two and you never know where that could take them. I’ll certainly be cheering them on.”