Challenge 01 ECNL midfielder, Jessica Young, was recently invited to join the Northern Ireland U17 team in Cardiff, Wales to train and play in the Vauxhall International Friendly Matches against Wales.
In game one, Jessica entered the match as a second half substitute and made a positive impact on the Irish midfield. After a few training sessions, Jessica started game 2 at center back and ended up earning Player of the Match honors in the 1-1 draw!
She was invited back to play with the U16 squad in Sligo, Ireland in May.
Jess has already been invited to join the U17 squad again for training/friendlies in August and to participate in the UEFA Qualifying Round in Portugal from September 25 - October 1. Northern Ireland is slotted in group 10 with Portugal, Austria, and Georgia. Additionally, the NI Federation extended an invite for Jessica to play with the U16 team, in Ireland, in late May!
We are very proud of Jessica and could not be more excited for her opportunities with Northern Ireland. Being able to experience a new level of competition, a different set of team expectations, and a whole new culture are invaluable to her future development. Her player of the match award is not surprising as she is able to make a huge impact in every game we play with her composure and natural leadership ability. We cannot wait to see her continued growth with both Challenge and Northern Ireland!
-Stuart Self, ECNL Director
In the past five years Challenge has had nine players selected for various national team camps and international events:
Jessica Young: Northern Ireland
Megan Reilly: Northern Ireland
Noora Aldossary: Kingdom of Bahrain
Kennedie St Mary: Trinidad and Tobago
Alyssa Malonson: United States
Olivia Ausmus: United States
Haley Pounds: United States
Grace Wright: Ireland
Jamie Simmons: United States