Northern Ireland call-up for Saintfield’s Haughey

Northern Ireland call-up for Saintfield’s Haughey

9 June 2021

SAINTFIELD teenager Ella Haughey has been called up to the Northern Ireland squad for tomorrow night’s match with Scotland at Seaview.

It’s the second time that defender Haughey has been called up to the squad. The Lisburn Rangers player was named in the panel that played England at St George’s Park in February, but didn’t make her debut in that game. 

However, the 16 year-old does have the opportunity to do just that tomorrow when she could come up against two Olympians, Manchester City’s Caroline Weir and Arsenal’s Kim Little, who have been named in the Team GB squad to play in Tokyo next month. 

Kenny Shiels has picked a squad with a mix of youth and experience ahead of the showdown that will act as preparations for the World Cup qualification campaign that kicks off in September. 

Scotland are currently ranked 23rd in the world, while Northern Ireland are 48th, although they are expected to rise up the FIFA listings given their Women’s Euro 2022 play-off success against Ukraine in April. 

Northern Ireland’s opening encounter in six-team Group D in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers will be a home game against Luxembourg on September 17, followed by another home match against Latvia four days later. 

Before the England match Haughey said: “I just can’t wait to learn so many things, I will take away a lot from the professional environment and I can put it in my game.” 

She continued: “It would be a dream of mine to get a contract in England and become a full-time professional. To get paid for doing what I love would be unbelievable, I want to work hard to try and achieve that.”

Despite not being in the Euro 2022 qualification squad, Haughey has been training with the team and has made an impression on manager Shiels that has earned her a call-up on this occasion. 

Haughey has also represented Northern Ireland at U-17 level and not only could make her debut tomorrow, but she could also play in front of fans with 500 supporters allowed into the venue for the fixture. 

Northern Ireland do have crucial players missing for the game via injury as after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Linfield last week, Ashley Hutton is unavailable for the training camp, as is Everton striker Simone Magill. 

They join an injured list that already includes long-term absentees Rachel Furness, Demi Vance, Megan Bell, Caragh Hamilton and Abbie Magee, who hails from Killinchy.