Abbie and Ella get the call from boss Shiels for England

Abbie and Ella get the call from boss Shiels for England

17 February 2021

TWO local girls have been given their international soccer call-ups.

Abbie Magee, from Killinchy and Saintfield’s Ella Haughey have been called up to the Northern Ireland senior squad for the clash with England next week.

Sixteen year-old Ella, who plays her club football for Lisburn Rangers, earns her first call-up to the squad. 

The talented defender has been training with the squad since December and impressed so much that she has been included in the panel to travel to England. 

Abbie (20) made her international debut in November against Belarus. She has played at U-17 level for her country, but has been named in the senior squad even before she has made her U-19 debut. 

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels will bring his side to face the Lionesses at St George’s Park on Tuesday as they prepare for their Euro 2022 play-off fixture in April.

The Northern Ireland boss has made seven changes to his squad that beat Belarus and Faroe Islands last time out in November and December as they sealed a historic place in the European play-offs. 

Everton striker Simone Magill makes her return to the squad after missing those two games with a foot injury. Rebecca McKenna, Casey Howe, Rebecca Holloway and Louise McDaniel all return to the squad. 

The McGuinness sisters, Kirsty and Caitlin, who featured in the wins over Belarus and the Faroe Islands are both unavailable. Rangers pair Demi Vance and Megan Bell, and Glentoran duo Emma McMaster and Caragh Hamilton miss out due to injury. 

Four other players involved in the last squad - Forfar Farmington goalkeeper and Ballynahinch native Lauren Perry, and Glentoran Women trio Joely Andrews, Danielle Maxwell and Kerry Beattie - have missed out this time.

It is a good test for Northern Ireland as they will be coming up against some of the best players in the world. Arsenal’s Leah Williamson and Jordan Nobbs, Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp, and FIFA’s ‘The Best’ winner Lucy Bronze, as well as Chelsea stars Fran Kirby and Bethany England are all named in the Lionesses’ panel. 

The Northern Ireland squad will meet up in Belfast next week. They will then travel across the Irish Sea to take on the 2019 World Cup semi-finalists.