Belfast Telegraph

NI U21s will be aiming high at the World Youth Games


By Richard Bullick

Northern Ireland's U21s will be hoping to draw inspiration from their elders when they compete in the World Youth Cup, which starts tomorrow in Botswana.

The squad had already left for Africa when confirmation came through on Tuesday that the senior side had qualified for next spring's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Lisa Bowman, who netted 33 of Northern Ireland's 35 goals in the recent Quad Series final victory over Barbados which effectively clinched qualification, is assistant coach of the Under-21s, who are managed by Jacqui Portis.

Sisters Michelle and Emma Magee, who co-captains this squad with Jenny Lewis, were blooded during the Quad Series and 6ft shooter Rachel Moore in the subsequent Test series.

The U21s are set for the toughest of first tests on day one with an early start of 8am for their opening game against New Zealand.

Northern Ireland have been drawn in Pool A along with the Kiwis, local rivals Scotland, ultra-physical Samoa and Sri Lanka.

A runners-up place in the group looks achievable, though they were well beaten by the Scots two months ago.

NORTHERN IRELAND U21s: Jenny Lewis, Emma Magee, Michelle Magee, Rachel Moore, Rebecca McCullough, Claire McCammon, Fionnuala Crosbie, Dearbhla Coleman, Frances Keenan, Emma Cartmill, Shannon Smith, Isabel Jess.

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