There's no small amount of pride at Inishowen club Buncrana Hearts this week after two products of the club's youth structure have been given international nods.

Leah McDaid has just returned from Norway, where she represented Northern Ireland's U19s in their Euro qualifying campaign, while Emma Doherty is headed for Spain this Friday to represent the Republic's U15 schoolgirls in the Bob Docherty.

Crana College leaving cert student Leah, 17, now plays for Derry City Ladies, as Buncrana Hearts don't yet have a senior ladies team.

The holding midfielder, who was eligible for the Northern Ireland team because her dad was born in Derry,  said she enjoyed her experience in Norway despite her side's failure to qualify.

She told us: "We came fourth in our group, which was disappointing because we felt we should have got something out of our first two matches.

"But I learned a lot from it and playing at international level is just amazing. It's all high intensity and you have to put everything into it."

And Leah says she hasn't ruled out one day pulling on the green jersey of the Republic.

"Because I haven't been capped at senior level for Northern Ireland I would still be eligible to play for the Republic.

"It's maybe a wee bit harder for me to get noticed because I play my football in the North, but we'll wait and see what happens."

Meanwhile, Emma Doherty is all set to jet off to Salou in two days' time as part of the 18-player Ireland U15 schoolgirls squad that will seek to retain the Bob Docherty Cup.

It's the tournament that propelled the international careers of Inishowen pair Kerry Brown and Erin Fildara last season, and the Scoil Mhuire youngster is looking forward to her chance to shine.

Emma, 15, will be joined by fellow Inishowen native Ellie Long, from Carn, who has also made the squad.

Emma told us: "I'm feeling a wee bit nervous, but mostly excited about the tournament.

"We played a friendly with Northern Ireland and it's a class feeling playing at this level. It's really nervewracking, but once the game gets going you calm down a good bit."

And making the squad has been an extra special achievement for the talented teen, who broke her leg last year doing the cold spell.

"I was out sleighing," she said, "and that's when it happened. It was really frustrating because I was out for nine months, but the leg is grand now and I'm really pleased to have made this squad."

Hearts underage coach Davey Hone told us: "I'm delighted for the two of them. They are such hard workers and never give less than 100 percent.

"I use Emma as an example to the younger girls of the opportunities open to them. She never made it to the Ulster trials because of her leg, but she still made this squad.

"Leah and Emma are an inspiration to all our young players."

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