Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland women's boss Alfie Wylie groans as Fifa keep Kerry Montgomery on sidelines

By Stuart McKinley

Alfie Wylie has revealed his frustration at Fifa as he tries to bolster his Northern Ireland women’s squad.

Wylie has had Scottish-born midfielder Kerry Montgomery in his squad in the build-up to this evening’s Women’s Euro 2017 qualifier away to the Czech Republic (6.30pm BST), but the former SWPL Player of the Year won’t play in the fixture.

Kerry qualifies through her Ulster-born grandmother, but caps for Scotland at Under-19 level mean there is a process to go through before she can play for Northern Ireland and so far Wylie and the Irish FA have yet to clear all the hurdles.

“We haven’t been able to get clearance for Kerry Montgomery, a player we’ve been chasing since last September,” said Wylie.

“Her paperwork was lodged with Fifa in January, but they keep coming back to us looking for more detail — parents’ birth certificates, grandparents’ birth certificates — but we’ve given them everything.

“She had been in the Scotland squad about 20 times, been on the bench, but never set foot on the pitch.

“She did play at Under-19 level, which complicated things as far as having to go through the switching process with Fifa was concerned, which we wouldn’t have had to do had she not played at all.

“She has been with us and played in friendlies in the tournament in Croatia, but she can’t play in qualifying games.”

Northern Ireland go into tonight’s game with confidence high after beating Georgia 4-0 on Friday, but they will be without Simone Magill, who scored the first goal after just 11 seconds.

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