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Northern Ireland can get back on grand stage after major tournament debut at Euro 2022, insists Rebecca McKenna


Rebecca McKenna savoured Northern Ireland's tournament experience

Rebecca McKenna savoured Northern Ireland's tournament experience

William Cherry/Presseye

Rebecca McKenna savoured Northern Ireland's tournament experience

The dust has hardly settled on Northern Ireland’s involvement in the Women’s Euro 2022 Finals and even before she has left Southampton, Rebecca McKenna is already thinking about doing it all over again.

At just 21-years-old, she has every chance.

The Lewes Ladies full-back played a major part in getting the team to the tournament with impressive performances in the Play-Off games against Ukraine.

After starting on the bench against Norway, she was in the line-up in the final two games against Austria and England.

Despite three defeats, the experience has left her wanting more.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions,” says McKenna.

“It’s our first major tournament and every single person in the squad has put everything into it and we are excited for the next one.

“I can’t give everyone enough credit for the work that they have put in over the last two weeks.”

Being the first team to pack their bags and go home isn’t what Northern Ireland wanted from the tournament.

The players had targeted the middle game against Austria as the one they could get something from, with the belief that they were capable of winning that match and facing England in the final game with something to play for.

Although ultimately no points were collected, McKenna did take something from the experience of playing against the top teams on the continent.

“We are disappointed, we thought we could have got better results or even got a win, but we are taking positives from it,” she adds.

“We’ve come to our first major tournament and we can take a lot of pride from it.

“I am excited about how much better this squad can be.”

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