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Northern Ireland defender Kelsie Burrows is hoping Euro 2022 can be her ticket to ditch the night shifts

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Kelsie Burrows is very much in the frame to start the first game against Norway

Kelsie Burrows is very much in the frame to start the first game against Norway

William Cherry/Presseye

Kelsie Burrows is very much in the frame to start the first game against Norway

Kelsie Burrows is hungry to use the Women’s Euro 2022 finals as a route to ditch her night shifts for good.

The Cliftonville Ladies defender is one of more than half the players in the Northern Ireland squad who will be going back to work after the competition finishes.

Being part of the pre-tournament full-time training set up established by the Irish Football Association to give the home-based part-time players the best possible preparation for going up against top class opposition has given her the taste for carrying that on and, at just 21-years-old, doors could open for her if she performs well.

“I do shifts — usually night shifts — so I’ve had to switch over completely to getting up early in the mornings instead of going to work late at night,” said Burrows.

“It’s been enjoyable and very exciting to be in with the girls every day, being around your best friends and the family that we all are. What else could you ask for? And just playing football, that’s what anyone would want to do.

“It definitely gives those of us who have never experienced it a taste of how it would be in full-time football and the girls over there could tell you that better than I can."

She added: “For a lot of the young girls — and even some of the others — this is a shop window because the Euro finals is where the best and biggest teams will be playing and scouts will be watching.

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“If you get that opportunity and that chance, you have to take it with both hands and grasp it.”

Burrows is very much in the frame to start the first game against Norway on Thursday night after taking to international football like the proverbial duck to water.

She has only started two competitive games in her Northern Ireland career, when manager Kenny Shiels showed immense faith by selecting her for both World Cup qualifiers against England.

Despite losing both encounters, Burrows emerged with a huge amount of credit and it was the same when she faced Belgium in the pre-tournament friendly two weeks ago.

“I think it shows what kind of person Kenny is that he has put such big responsibility and trust in me as a young player to do the job against England both times and for my first start to be at Wembley, what else could you ask for? One of the biggest and best stadiums there is,” she enthused.

“It was an amazing opportunity and I can’t thank Kenny any more for that.”


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