Mercy College girls to be tested against Europe's best
MERCY College Belfast girl’s football team will represent Northern Ireland at this year’s U18 European School’s Championships in France.
In recognition of their achievements so far this season the team was invited to participate in Euro Foot Jeunes 2016 by the IFA.
The girls, who are Indoor Nationals Champions and are Northern Ireland Cup semi-finalists, will take on the rest of Europe’s best school sides in the tournament.
Mercy College have been drawn in a group with teams from Russia, Holland, Switzerland and Turkey, but with a squad boasting players from the Northern Ireland national team, Crusaders and Cliftonville, manager Seadna Billings is confident of the girl’s ability to compete.
“The type of football they play is absolutely amazing,” he said.
“Sometimes you watch them playing in a match and you can’t believe what they’re doing on the pitch, or the type of skill they have, and they way they compete against each other.
“They’re very competitive and there is a great gel between the team itself. It really is great to watch them on the pitch.”
Billings, along with caretaker of the school and co-manager, Carl Johnson, took the girls over to their base in Lille yesterday in preparation for the start of the tournament.
The Belfast school are the only girl’s team competing in the Championships from Northern Ireland and beat some quality opposition to the accolade.
“There are other great teams around Belfast at the moment that could have been chosen, some really good sides,” continued Billings.
“But to be selected from them all is excellent, it is absolutely brilliant. Kudos to the girls, it’s a great achievement for them. It’s a great honour for ourselves to be selected to do this.”
The tournament runs from May 30 to June 5, and involves two groups of five teams, the top two from each progressing to the semi-final’s and final.