English Women’s Championship promotion contenders Durham have recruited Cork all-rounder Saoirse Noonan.
The Ireland international striker (22) has been on trial at a few English sides since her 12 goals helped Shelbourne win the women’s national league in November and is moving to the club currently fourth in the second tier.
Noonan chose to concentrate solely on football last year after managing to juggle her commitments with the Cork Ladies GAA, for whom she played in two All-Ireland finals.
She has won two international caps since making the move, scoring her first goal last time out against Georgia, and never hid her desire to test herself abroad.
Last year, she was linked with a move to Icelandic club Vikingur.
Durham earlier this month snapped up Noonan’s compatriot, Naoisha McAloon, the Peamount United goalkeeper who has since broken into the first-team.
“It’s brilliant to be here,” Noonan said after sealing a deal shortly before Thursday’s midnight transfer deadline.
“This is a really competitive club and they’ve been up there, so I’m buzzing to get going and ready to compete.
“I’d say I’m quite a technical player and dangerous in and around the box – and I’m good in the air. I just can’t wait to get going now.”
Durham’s first team manager Lee Sanders added: “Saoirse is another positive signing for the club and is a player who we have been working on for a number of months.
“She’s another forward – which was an area we wanted to add to – and her record in front of goal and in terms of assists stood out.
“She’s had that league winning success coupled with a break into the national squad and working with our coaching staff – Rich [head coach], Steve and the support staff – we’re excited to see what she can add here at Durham.”
Shelbourne have also lost another international from their title-winning team, midfielder Ciara Grant, who has finalised a transfer to Scottish league leaders Rangers.
The qualified doctor said: “I would really like to thank everyone in Shelbourne for everything they have done for me over the last two seasons, it hasn't been easy with Covid but the work going on behind the scenes is really starting to pay off. I wish all the staff and players the best for the upcoming season and hope another league title arrives in Tolka.”