Mid-Ulster Ladies FC’s superb young goalkeeper, Jacqueline Burns, is the worthy recipient of the Mid-Ulster Mail/Tyrone Times Sports Personality of the Month award for March.
The Cookstown High School girl got a very timely and very appropriate birthday present when she received her first Northern Ireland senior cap just a matter of hours before she celebrated her seventeenth birthday on March 6.
And, coming in as a replacement for the experienced Emma Higgins, she showed she has all the attributes necessary to earn many more opportunities to represent her country.
Indeed, she played her part in helping keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Estonia in a rain-lashed contest at Clandeboye Park in Bangor.
Team manager Alfie Wylie was very pleased with the performance and Jacqueline will be hoping to get another call-up in the near future.
Speaking after receiving her award, the talented teenager said she was pleasantly surprised by the recognition.
“It feels really great, and it is a bit of a shock, as I’ve haven’t been playing senior football for that long,” she said.
“I really appreciate that the local paper has given me this recognition.
“I turned 17, the next day after playing for the seniors, so it was a really brilliant birthday present.”
Jacqueline who is a Manchester United fan, cites Tim Krul the Newcastle goalkeeper as one of her favourite players.
And who will win the Premiership?
“I think it will be either City or Chelsea, I cannot see Liverpool doing it,” she laughed.
Jacqueline is an all-round sports performer, showing plenty of skill as well in her chief school sports of netball and hockey.