Northern Ireland women setting sights on Euro 2022 in England
Uefa Women's Euro 2021 qualifying Group C: Northern Ireland 5-1 Faroe Islands
WE'RE going to England…We're staying in England!
Those might seem like confusing replies to a question about their holiday plans – or lack of them - for the summer of 2022 but Chloe McCarron and Rachel Furness, who both play with English clubs, were both right about the continuing ambitions of the Northern Ireland women's team.
Both were on the scoresheet as Kenny Shiels's side recovered from the shock setback of conceding the first goal scored by the Faroe Islands in this group to bounce back and win in some style.
The McGuinness sisters, Kirsty and Caitlin, also scored, with Furness forcing a late own goal as the women in green sealed a play-off spot for next spring with the aim of reaching the tournament due to be hosted by England in 2022.
McCarron of Birmingham City and Liverpool forward Furness were star turns on the night and the latter commented: "I'm personally going to milk this for five months because it's the highlight of my career, it's the highlight of all the girls' careers.
"I'm excited abut the draw, to see who we get, and it's a proud moment for our country, We've created history and we want to enjoy it, everyone at home who couldn't be here, we want them to enjoy it and back us as well.
"This is a massive moment, the future's bright for football in Northern Ireland. We wanted to pave the way in this campaign and I think we have done that."
McCarron declared herself "ecstatic, to be honest – no one really thought we'd be in this position and we've just proved a lot of people wrong who had us wrote off from the start…"
The 22-year-old even answered good-natured critics within her own camp and family by scoring a cracking, crucial third goal, and concluded: "I don't normally get on the scoresheet, everybody ribs me about it, so it's nice – even my mum back home was saying 'Try and score me a goal'!"