SAINTS ace Ciara Watling revealed her disappointment at only finding out she would not be playing at this year’s European Championships via social media.

The Northern Ireland international could have been set to feature for her country at the tournament, with all three group games played at St Mary’s.

Saints teammate and close friend Laura Rafferty has been selected for the 23-player squad, with her tournament kicking off Thursday, July 7.

Watling played a key role in securing Championship promotion and a double-winning 2021-22 season for Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side.

Earlier this month, Watling was part of the Northern Ireland Women’s group that were given a send-off on the Windsor Park pitch – ahead of a men’s Nations League clash.

On Twitter, the 11-cap midfielder said: “Heartbreaking not to be selected for the Euro’s.

“I honestly didn’t expect to find out I wasn’t via social media on Monday. Lucky to have amazing support and love around me.

“Good luck to all the girls, an outstanding group who will give all they’ve got.”

Northern Ireland will also face Austria (July 11) and England (July 15) as they aim to progress beyond the group stage.

Northern Ireland Women’s squad

Goalkeepers: Jackie Burns (BK Hacken), Becky Flaherty (Brighouse Town), Shannon Turner (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Defenders: Kelsie Burrows (Cliftonville), Rebecca Holloway (Racing Louisville), Ashley Hutton (Linfield), Abbie Magee (Cliftonville), Sarah McFadden (Durham), Rebecca McKenna (Lewes), Julie Nelson (Crusaders Strikers), Laura Rafferty (Saints), Demi Vance (Rangers).

Midfielders: Nadene Caldwell (Glentoran), Joely Andrews (Glentoran), Chloe McCarron (Glentoran), Marissa Callaghan (Cliftonville), Louise McDaniel (Cliftonville), Rachel Furness (Liverpool).

Forwards: Simone Magill (unattached), Caitlin McGuinness (Cliftonvillle), Kirsty McGuinness (Cliftonville), Lauren Wade (Glentoran), Emily Wilson (Crusaders Strikers).

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