The Northern Ireland Women’s team made history in qualifying for Euro 2022, their first ever appearance at a finals tournament. A remarkable achievement for a squad made up of mostly part time players.
Based in Southampton, the team face a tough group that includes Austria, England and Norway with their first fixture taking place on 7th July. It wouldn’t be a trip to a major tournament without trotting out a few classic football anthems. a few that have stood the test of time might be Baddiel & Skinner & Lightning Seeds, New Order or the all time classic from Chumbawamba.
The Northern Ireland Women’s team don’t need to rely on any old tracks as they’ve had not one, not two but three different Northern Irish artists penning tracks to honour their achievement and to help spur them on in their quest for success at Euro 2022.
Jessica Hammond – Girl Got Game
First up is the official song ‘Girl Got Game’ from Jessica Hammond. The former Voice contestant also featured on Disney’s My Camp Rock and is a footballer in her own right for local team, Bangor Ladies. She was thrilled to be asked to record the official anthem.
Punctuated by chants of “Green & White Army”, it is a pulsing pop number that keeps things short and sweet. Released through Paragon Records, it’s an uplifting effort aimed at empowering girls and women alike.
Jessica commented; “ ‘Girl Got Game’ is a female empowerment song. I wanted to write a song where the vibe was uplifting and motivating, I wanted to write lyrics using football terminology like “always ready to attack” and “don’t take your eye off the ball” while also keeping it vague enough to be relatable outside of the game, and be a feel-good song for all women, even outside of the sport.”
Angela Platt, Director of Women’s Football for the Irish FA, said: “This summer will see levels of interest and excitement in our women and girls’ game at an all-time high. Our team has made history by qualifying for the Euros and I’m delighted to have Jessica’s soundtrack backing our team every step of the way.”
3D Shark – A Song For Euros / Can You Believe It?
While not having the official approval of the Irish Football Association, we shouldn’t doubt the enthusiasm or love for the team from 3D Shark. Their release marks the 2nd time the band have come out of retirement. They first came out of retirement in 2016 to release ‘Jackie Fullerton Says (I’m In Heaven When We Score)’ as a tribute to the men’s team qualifying for Euro 2016.
It was only fitting for them to do the same for the women this time round and this release features two singles in ‘A Song For Euro’s’ and ‘Can You Believe it?’ with both featuring the guest vocals of Niamh Rooney. At heart two slightly rockier efforts than the official anthem but both laden with more than a few pop tendencies and tongue in cheek lyrics.
“Northern Ireland might be the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, and it will be tough, but those women never cease to surprise us, so hopefully they’ll go out and cause a few more surprises. And if the song goes down well with the fans, that would be a bonus. We’d love it to become the unofficial anthem for the team this tournament.”
The Back Four – Electric Green
Rounding out the new music is a track from The Back Four called ‘Electric Green’. Again not officially endorsed but has the distinction of featuring a former Northern Ireland international in Ian Stewart. Fittingly Stewart also coached many of the current squad in his previous roles with the under 15, under 17 and under 19 set ups.
When the band features prolific local promoter Phil McCarroll (SONI), there is little doubt it’s going to be a rock orientated number. Far from being a straight up rock number, it has an old soul feel to it and the guest vocals from Rwanda Shaw bring it to life.
A lifelong NI fan, McCarroll couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put together a track for the team “We had the title even before the song, and it reflects the thrilling nature of the performances in qualification…but also reminds me of my first ever international football match, the electric green of the pitch and the shirts, and the excitement of international night under floodlights”.