Euro 2021: Shiels names youthful NI squad for Norway and Wales qualifiers

Glentoran midfielder Emma McMaster is one of seven players called into the squad
Glentoran midfielder Emma McMaster is one of seven players called into the squad

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels has named a much-changed squad for the upcoming Euro 2021 qualifying double-header against Norway and Wales.

Shiels has brought in seven new players to the panel ahead of facing Norway in Stavanger on 8 November and Wales in Belfast four days later.

Northern Ireland are fourth in Group C after taking one point from their opening two games.

Norway are top on nine with Wales and Belarus in second and third.

Blackburn Rovers duo Lauren Perry and Kelsie Burrows, Cliftonville's Toni-Leigh Finnegan, Glentoran midfielder Emma McMaster and Linfield pair Casey Howe and Caitlin McGuinness have all been called-up.

Sheffield United Women goalkeeper Becky Flaherty, who was a late call-up to the previous squad, has also been included.

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NI manager Kenny Shiels has named a much-changed squad for games with Norway and Wales

Youth over experience

Shiels, who was appointed manager in May, has opted for youth over experience in his latest squad, with Jackie Burns, Emma Higgins, Claragh Connor, Natalie Johnson and Yasmin White, Kerry Montgomery and Rebecca Holloway all omitted.

Shiels, who was appointed to the manager's role back in May, opted for mainly experienced players in his panel for his opening two competitive fixtures, however he has now decided to give youth a chance.

Six of the seven players coming in have featured regularly in the Northern Ireland Women's U19 and U17 set-ups in recent years, while some have also previously featured in the senior team.

Kenny Shiels was appointed Northern Ireland manager in May
Kenny Shiels was appointed Northern Ireland manager in May

Northern Ireland lost 6-0 to Norway in Belfast before earning a 2-2 draw with Wales in Shiels' first two games in charge.

Nine group winners, plus three runners-up with the best records, will automatically qualify for the Euros in England in 2021.

The other six runners-up will enter play-offs in October 2020 for the remaining three berths in the 16-team tournament.

Northern Ireland's match against Wales at Seaview on Tuesday, 12 November will be streamed on the BBC Sport NI website.

Goalkeepers: Flaherty (Sheffield United), Perry (Blackburn Rovers)

Defenders: Nelson (Crusaders), Hutton (Linfield), Vance (Glentoran), Newborough (Charlton Athletic), Holdaway (Crystal Palace), Burrows (Blackburn Rovers), Finnegan (Cliftonville)

Midfielders: Callaghan (Cliftonville), McFadden (Durham), Furness (Reading), McCarron (Linfield), Bell (Durham), McKenna (Linfield), McMaster (Glentoran)

Forwards: Magill (Everton), Wade (Throttur Reykjavik), McGuinness (Linfield), Howe (Linfield)

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