Marisa Callahan believes her country was inspired after the women of Northern Ireland qualified for their first major tournament.
Northern Ireland qualified for the 2022 European Championships in England next July, beating Ukraine 4-1 in the qualifying play-offs.
Callaghan, who captained the team and scored the first goal in the second quarter, said the milestone reflects the progress the country and women’s football have made in recent times.
“The game has grown a lot over the last 10 years, put icing on the cake for us on Tuesday,” she said.
“We have changed women’s football here forever and can only make it better.
“It simply came to our notice then. I think we inspired a country of young boys and girls who want to wear a green jersey one day. “
Women’s football show
Friday, April 16 at 9:00 p.m.
It has been a long time since the women of Northern Ireland reached their first major tournament.
The team, ranked 49th in the world, did not even exist in 2003 and was not relaunched a year later. In 2021, the team is still a mix of semi-professional and amateur players.
Sarah McFanden is a dit School Sports News Northern Ireland’s qualification for Euro 2022 is “the best time of his life”, while head coach Kenny Shiells believes the team’s achievement will never match.
Given their recent qualification, Callaghan said the beating of the euro would help boost efforts to boost youth development in the country and ensure that Northern Ireland’s success is not a one-off.
She said: “When I was younger, I didn’t have any girls’ teams until I was 13, and we didn’t have role models for young girls. For me now, it attracts me inside.
“I work as a Girls Partnership Officer in the Irish Federation and my main role is to include more girls.
“So I think the team has made my job a lot easier and knowing the investment that goes into the Irish FA has opportunities for girls under the age of four to get involved.
The courses at the clubs work very hard to ensure that girls have the opportunity to join clubs at an early age. “
The Northern Ireland men’s team advanced to the round of 16 at Euro 2016, the first European Championship in the country, with thousands of green and white soldiers rejoicing alongside Michael O’Neill of France.
Callahan is hoping similar numbers will travel to England next year, and their teammates will make history in their first Euro.
She added, “I know about the men of 2016 and how they brought a nation together, so we achieved the same goal and united the nation, and we all have hope to look forward to. Next year.
I know the Green and White Army will support us with hundreds and thousands of people.
“We are considered to have the best fans in the world, so having our Green and White Army would be amazing. “
You can see the interview of Marisa Callaghan here Women’s football show Friday night at 9 p.m. Sky Sports Football.