Rafferty: It feels like home


Southampton star Laura Rafferty reflected on an incredible atmosphere at St Mary’s, as Northern Ireland’s time at UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 came to a close.

Rafferty played 60 minutes in front of an electric St Mary’s crowd on Friday night as her side fell to a 5-0 defeat to group winners England.

“It’s been amazing,” she confessed. “There’s not too many words I can use to describe it, it’s an incredible feeling.

“When you look at the green wall in the corner, they were fantastic and really spurred us on."

Kenny Shiels’ side made history when qualifying for the tournament, and relished every opportunity to play on the international stage.

“It’s a huge achievement for Northern Ireland. Every single girl deserves every bit of credit, they build you up and they help you.

"When you do go one nil down against a team like England, it’s tough to come back but you really have to bite the bullet and I think we stuck together. England will do well in this tournament for sure and good luck to them.”

On a personal level, playing at St Mary’s certainly made the experience that extra bit special for the 26-year-old.

“It’s fantastic and we’ve got a lot more games here this season. I feel at home. It was good to get to get out there and I hope the girls enjoyed watching it up in Scotland.”