After years of complaining of player poaching Northern Ireland have changed their tune
Published 07/04/2016 | 11:05
For years they have complained about the Republic of Ireland poaching their youth players but now Northern Ireland are making a concerted effort to target players born outside the country.
A poster tweeted out by Northern Ireland women's coach Alfie Wylie urges players of Northern Irish heritage to get in touch with the IFA.
Attention all girl footballers ,are you eligible to play for N.Ireland if so your country needs you@OfficialIrishFA pic.twitter.com/rSAufzgwfx— Alfie Wylie (@AlfieWylie) April 6, 2016
"Regardless of where you're born, ask your parents or family members about your heritage, you may be surprised," it reads.
There has long been controversy over Northern Ireland youth players switching to the Republic, with midfielder Darron Gibson getting caught in a particularly protracted tug-of-war between the two teams.
Both sides are enjoying a purple patch now though, with Martin and Michael O'Neill's men set to compete at this summer's European Championship.