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Simone Magill fired up to battle NI pal Chloe McCarron for a place in FA Cup final

Women's football


Simone Magill was on the bench for the 2014 final

Simone Magill was on the bench for the 2014 final

Getty Images

Simone Magill was on the bench for the 2014 final

What was once the dream of every boy on the school playground is now something that young girls can dream of too.

For one Northern Ireland international, dreams will come true tonight. For another, it will be a case of so near yet so far away.

Wembley is the prize on offer for Chloe McCarron and Simone Magill when Birmingham City Women and Everton Women clash in the Women's FA Cup semi-final and while only one can make it to the October 31 decider, Northern Ireland is guaranteed to have a player in the final.

The contrast between the only two Northern Ireland-born players to be plying their trade in the Women's Super League couldn't be more stark.

Chloe only made the move to full-time football a matter of weeks ago when she signed for Birmingham City Women at the end of August. Now, within a month, she is standing just one step away from Wembley.

Simone, however, has tasted a final before, when she was on the bench as Everton lost to Arsenal in 2014 at just 19-years-old.

She said: "It was my first year after coming over when we reached the FA Cup final. I was so young and to have the opportunity to be a part of it then was incredible.

"It was a moment that I'll never forget. To be so close to having the opportunity to do it again - and it falls on the weekend of my birthday as well - would be a phenomenal moment if we get there.

"We've all spoken about it, when you're a little kid and you're playing football you dream about playing at Wembley, you dream about playing in FA Cup finals and we are slowly turning our dreams into reality by getting one step closer."

Despite the women's season in England - like most others - coming to a halt in March, the FA decided that their blue riband knockout competition would continue once football resumed.

"When we were told that the FA Cup was going to be completed it was massive for us to hear because we had got so far in the competition and you don't want it to end," added Simone.

Meanwhile, the Danske Bank Women's Premiership games between Derry City Women and Cliftonville Ladies and Sion Swifts Ladies v Crusaders Strikers remain in doubt due to cross-border travel restrictions affecting the two north west teams.

Linfield Ladies v Glentoran Women will go ahead with both teams looking for the win to keep the pressure on Sion at the top.

Belfast Telegraph