FEATURE: Footballer Kendra McMullan believes good times are only just beginning for Sion Swifts

The good times continue for Sion Swifts’ Kendra McMullan and not even sickness could keep her down.

The talented midfielder, who netted twice in the Swifts’ Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup Final win over Newry City Ladies, has also forced her way back into Northern Ireland Senior Women’s squad.

McMullan played for Alfie Wylie’s side in their recent World Cup qualifier defeat to Republic of Ireland, but missed out in their match against Norway after taking ill.

“It was great to be back playing for my country, but obviously we were disappointed with the two defeats,” she stated.

“I was unable to travel to Norway because I took sick and I went home the night before they travelled but thank god Alfie brought me straight back in once they came back and I was thankful for that.

“I trained well and got a start which was great. It was a different role than what I’m used to playing but I really enjoyed it and after the game Alfie told me that I was Northern Ireland’s player of the match, so I was buzzing for that, but I was disappointed about the result.

“Now I’m in the squad I’m going to be working hard to try and stay in the squad.

“Sometimes it’s just hard when you are working full-time to be so committed because it is a lot of work travelling up to Belfast all the time for training, but it has given me that wee buzz to make sure that I keep working hard obviously I’ll be doing my best to try and stay in the squad.”

McMullan, who is engaged to former Institute, Derry City and Linfield winger Ryan Semple, admits his influence is something which helps her, and she does let him watch Match of the Day.

“There is always some talk of football, but he’s lucky he gets to watch Match of the Day on Saturday night, with no complaints,” she joked.

“Being with Ryan inspires me even more, because the experience and level that Ryan played at is something which he helps me with.

“Sometimes I struggle on my own and at times when I think about maybe missing a session he won’t let me and will always give me that extra push. Sometimes he’ll take me to a pitch and put me through a session and stuff like that.”

The Manchester United fan also admitted that she didn’t really start thinking about back playing for her country until after the Swifts’ big night at the National Stadium.

McMullan also admitted that memorable night when Swifts won the cup thanks to her brace will live long in her memory.

“I got word before the final that I was in the squad, but to be honest until after that final I wasn’t focused on the Northern Ireland matches,” she added.

“It was an unbelievable night and I’m still buzzing.

“There’s no words to describe the feeling of winning at Windsor Park. It was a dream come true and it would be for any girl.

“It was our last game of the season and there was no better game to be apart of. It just topped our season off brilliantly.

“But we won’t stop here, this is just the start for Sion Swifts Ladies. We’ll look to take our form into next season and try to build on it.

“We have had an incredible year, the girls have been amazing and Tony McGlynn and Tommy Canning, our management, have just been unreal to us group of girls.

“They have worked so hard for our club, week in, week out and I’m just so happy that everyone’s hard work has paid off.”