With the approach of the next International Window, both Wales and Northern Ireland have unveiled their squads for their two matches. We bring you all the news:
Photo: Wales will be looking for further celebrations in their next two games. Photo: Kunjan Malde/FAW.
Gemma Grainger has announced a 26-player squad as Wales look to continue their unbeaten form in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign.
Wales will face Greece at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli on Friday 26 November (KO 19:15) before heading to Guingamp in Britanny to face group leaders France on Tuesday 30 November.
Grainger’s side goes into the matches second in the group after three wins and a draw to start the campaign. Wales will be without Rachel Rowe who misses out due to injury and Hannah Cain who suffered an ACL injury a week after winning her first Welsh cap last month. Maria Francis-Jones returns to the squad after captaining the U19s last month to promotion to League A in the 2022 UEFA WU19 EURO Qualifying Round.
Laura O’SULLIVAN (Cardiff City Ladies), Olivia CLARK (Coventry United), Poppy SOPER (Plymouth Argyle), Hayley LADD (Manchester United), Gemma EVANS (Reading), Rhiannon ROBERTS (Liverpool), Esther MORGAN (Tottenham Hotspur), Maria FRANCIS-JONES (Manchester City), Lily WOODHAM (Reading), Morgan ROGERS (Tottenham Hotspur), Sophie INGLE (Chelsea), Anna FILBEY
(Charlton Athletic), Angharad JAMES (North Carolina Courage), Josie GREEN (Tottenham Hotspur), Charlie ESTCOURT (Coventry United), Jess FISHLOCK (OL Reign), Carrie JONES (Manchester United), Chloe WILLIAMS (Blackburn Rovers, on loan from Manchester United), Ffion MORGAN (Bristol City), Megan WYNNE (Charlton Athletic), Natasha HARDING (Reading), Ceri HOLLAND (Liverpool), Kayleigh GREEN (Brighton & Hove Albion), Helen WARD (Watford), Elise HUGHES (Charlton Athletic), Georgia WALTERS (Liverpool).
Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels has made a couple of changes to his squad for this month’s home and away FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers against North Macedonia.
Shiels’ side are away to the Macedonians first – on Thursday 25 November – with the game being staged at the Football Federation of North Macedonia Training Centre in Skopje.
And then it’s back home for the second meeting. That encounter is on Monday 29 November at Seaview and all tickets for the game have already been sold.
The Northern Ireland senior women’s team boss has gone with his usual blend of youth and experience in his 23-strong panel for the matches in Skopje and Belfast.
Northern Ireland are strong favourites to win home and away against the Macedonians, however Shiels and his players will not be taking anything for granted as the Macedonians defeated Latvia 4-1 away last month – and that was a similar scoreline to Northern Ireland’s home success against the Latvians back in September.
Birmingham City Women defender Rebecca Holloway, who missed last month’s double header through injury, returns to the fold.
And Crusaders Strikers defender Rachel McLaren, who was Holloway’s replacement in October, retains her place in the squad.
Also back in the panel is Cliftonville Ladies striker Caitlin McGuinness, who missed out last month.
Missing out this time are Southampton Women defender Laura Rafferty and Crusaders Strikers striker Emily Wilson, who is injured.
Cliftonville Ladies defender Toni-Leigh Finnegan is not available once again due to injury, while still recovering from long term injuries are Rangers Women midfielder Megan Bell and Linfield Ladies pair Ashley Hutton and Abbie Magee.
Northern Ireland currently lie third behind England and Austria in European Qualifying Group D. They have seven points from four qualifiers to date. North Macedonia are in fourth place in the six-team group with three points from four matches.
The girls in green and white began their quest for a place at the Women’s World Cup in 2023 – it is being hosted by Australia and New Zealand – with a 4-0 win over Luxembourg in Larne followed by a 4-0 victory over Latvia in Belfast back in September.
Last month they were defeated 4-0 by the group’s top seeds, England, at Wembley and then drew 2-2 with Austria at home.
Goalkeepers – Jackie Burns (Lee University/Glentoran Women), Becky Flaherty (Huddersfield Town Women), Maddy Harvey-Clifford (Crusaders Strikers).
Defenders – Julie Nelson (Crusaders Strikers), Rebecca McKenna (Lewes Women), Rebecca Holloway (Birmingham City Women), Sarah McFadden (Durham Women), Kelsie Burrows (Cliftonville Ladies), Demi Vance (Rangers Women), Rachel McLaren (Crusaders Strikers).
Midfielders – Marissa Callaghan and Louise McDaniel (both Cliftonville Ladies), Nadene Caldwell, Chloe McCarron, Caragh Hamilton and Joely Andrews (all Glentoran Women), Rachel Furness (Liverpool Women), Ciara Watling (Southampton Women).
Forwards – Kerry Beattie and Lauren Wade (both Glentoran Women), Simone Magill (Everton Women), Kirsty McGuinness (Cliftonville Ladies), Caitlin McGuinness (Cliftonville Ladies).