Advertisement

Northern Ireland Euro 2025 qualifiers: Jackie Burns, Connie Scofield and Brenna McPartlan in squad

Connie Scofield and Brenna McPartlan

London City Lionesses midfielder Connie Scofield and Burnley's Brenna McPartlan have been included in the squad for Northern Ireland's opening Euro 2025 qualifiers.

Reading goalkeeper Jackie Burns returns following a long-term Achilles injury.

Key defender Sarah McFadden will miss the matches through injury, but Casey Howe and Rebecca Holloway return.

Tanya Oxtoby's side face Malta in their opener on 4 April before travelling to Bosnia-Herzegovina on 9 April.

McPartlan will look to add to her sole Northern Ireland cap, which came in a friendly against Wales in 2017, and the midfielder signed for Burnley in the summer from Sunderland.

The 24-year-old played for Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool and Manchester City youth teams, before moving to the USA with Louisiana State University Tigers.

Scofield, 24, is a former England Under-21 midfielder who joined Championship side London City after spells with Birmingham City, where she came through the academy, and Leicester City.

However, Scofield is awaiting international clearance from Fifa before being declared eligible for the two games.

The return of Burns, who has been Northern Ireland's regular staring goalkeeper in recent years, is a boost after a year on the sidelines with the Achilles injury.

She trained with the Northern Ireland squad before February's play-off victory over Montenegro and she replaces Wolves' Shannon Turner in Oxtoby's squad.

Cliftonville's Abbie Magee and Crusaders' Rachel McLaren also return to the international set-up, along with Athlone Town's Howe and Birmingham City's Holloway.

McFadden, who has 102 caps for her country, has undergone surgery on a long-term issue, while Ellie Mason picked up an injury playing for Birmingham City.

Bristol City midfielder Rachel Furness, who is Northern Ireland's record goalscorer, remains out as she recovers from a hamstring injury sustained in November.

After April's fixtures, Northern Ireland face a double-header with Portugal before their final two qualifiers away to Malta and at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina in July.

The top three sides in Group B3 will earn a play-off in a bid to reach the Euro 2025 finals in Switzerland next summer.

Northern Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Jackie Burns (Reading), Lauren Perry (Montrose), Maddy Harvey-Clifford (Crusaders)

Defenders: Laura Rafferty (Southampton), Rebecca Holloway (Birmingham City), Demi Vance (Glentoran), Rebecca McKenna (Charlton Athletic), Rachel Dugdale (Reading), Abbie Magee (Cliftonville), Rachel McLaren (Crusaders).

Midfielders: Marissa Callaghan (Cliftonville), Nadene Caldwell (Glentoran), Megan Bell (Hearts, on loan from Rangers), Joely Andrews (Glentoran), Chloe McCarron (Glentoran), Brenna McPartlan (Burnley), Connie Scofield (London City Lionesses).

Forwards: Simone Magill (Aston Villa), Lauren Wade (Reading), Kerry Beattie (Glentoran), Caragh Hamilton (Lewes), Keri Halliday (Linfield), Casey Howe (Athlone Town).