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Euro visionaries

Cliftonville Football Club were delighted to this weekend pay tribute to the six history-makers who represented the Reds at the European Championships.

Marissa Callaghan, Kelsie Burrows, Kirsty McGuinness, Louise McDaniel, Abbie Magee and Caitlin McGuinness were part of the Northern Ireland Women’s squad that competed at this summer’s tournament in England, with all six enjoying game-time during the team’s Group A campaign.

Afforded a rousing reception by fans at half-time of yesterday’s Danske Bank Premiership defeat of Dungannon Swifts, the Ladies stars were then formally presented with matchworn international jerseys by Chairman Paul McKeown.

As demonstrated in a pre-event feature, as well as providing more players to the Northern Ireland panel than any other side, the Reds had a larger Euro 2022 contingent than some of the most recognisable names on the Club scene – Ajax, Inter, Lazio, Liverpool and Milan to name but a few.

By virtue of being named in the starting XI for the side’s opening fixture against Norway on July 7, Burrows and Magee share the distinction of being the first ever Cliftonville players – male or female – to have featured at a senior international tournament.

Captain Callaghan was introduced from the bench at half-time before the McGuinness sisters entered the fray as five of the Reds’ travelling party enjoyed minutes on the pitch.

Callaghan and Kirsty McGuinness then started the subsequent clash against Austria, with Magee, McDaniel and Caitlin McGuinness emerging as substitutes.

Northern Ireland’s final game saw them tackle hosts England at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton – where all of the team’s Group A games were staged – and, again, Callaghan and Kirsty McGuinness were both starters ahead of Magee and Burrows being introduced.

Our congratulations go to all six of our players involved in the tournament and we look forward to seeing you all back in action when Cliftonville Ladies’ Danske Bank Women’s Premiership campaign resumes with a trip to Mid Ulster Ladies on Monday, September 12.