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Northern Ireland will give Marissa Callaghan every chance to be fit for Euro 2022

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Bad timing: Marissa Callaghan picked up a toe injury playing for Cliftonville. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Philip Magowan

Bad timing: Marissa Callaghan picked up a toe injury playing for Cliftonville. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Philip Magowan

©INPHO/Presseye/Philip Magowan

Bad timing: Marissa Callaghan picked up a toe injury playing for Cliftonville. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Philip Magowan

Marissa Callaghan will be given until the opening day of the Women’s Euro 2022 finals to prove her fitness to Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels.

The squad’s preparations for the tournament have been jolted by an injury blow to the captain, with their first game against Norway on Thursday, July 7 now less than six weeks away.

Callaghan sustained a toe injury while playing for Cliftonville Ladies in their Danske Bank Women’s Premiership clash against Mid Ulster Ladies last week and managed to finish the game before the seriousness of the issue emerged.

Shiels must name his squad by the 11pm deadline on Sunday, June 26, but the rules allow a team to replace an injured player before her team plays their first match provided Uefa agree that the injury is serious enough to rule them out of the tournament.

Such a decision would be a big call by the Northern Ireland staff and Callaghan, with all parties optimistic that the seven-week time frame from her sustaining the injury to the Norway game is sufficient for the skipper to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, England defender Lucy Bronze, who is likely to face Northern Ireland at the Euros, will leave Manchester City at the end of her contract this summer.

The 30-year-old rejoined City in 2020 after a spell with Lyon, having previously played for them from 2014 to 2017.

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Bronze made 111 appearances in total for City, scoring 14 goals.

In her first City stint, the full-back helped the club win the Women’s Super League, FA Cup and League Cup, and her second has included another triumph in each of the cup competitions.

Bronze, who missed the first half of last season following knee surgery, said in a post on social media: “It’s been great to spend the last two years back on home soil. Although it has come with trials and tribulations, it has also come with accomplishments.

“Big thanks to my team-mates and to our supporters: you’ve been by our side no matter what and you’re playing such an important role in pushing the women’s game to the level we want it to be. New adventures await, see you soon Citizens.”


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