Cork's Denise O'Sullivan joins Brighton to aid Ireland's qualification cause

Cork's Denise O'Sullivan joins Brighton to aid Ireland's qualification cause

Denise O'Sullivan of Republic of Ireland in action against Eleni Kakambouki of Greece during the UEFA Women's 2021 European Championships Qualifier match between Republic of Ireland and Greece at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

CORK'S Denise O’Sullivan has left the United States and has joined English side Brighton & Hove Albion until the end of 2020 on loan.

The North Carolina Courage midfielder will join another Cork star Megan Connolly, along with Wexford’s Rhianna Jarrett at the club. 

This move comes as a surprise to many but NC Courage Head coach Paul Riley believes it is the right decision in this busy period for O’Sullivan.

“She is a fantastic player and we understand she has some huge games coming up for her country that she must play in and therefore we felt it was in the best interests of player safety and player development that we put her on loan so quarantine restrictions would not deny her the ability to fully train and prepare for our 2021 season,” said Riley.

“Brighton will be a great home for her and we wish her all the best for her loan club and country as she continues to identify herself as one of the most gifted and complete midfielders in world soccer."

Denise O'Sullivan of Republic of Ireland during the UEFA Women's 2021 European Championships Qualifier match between Montenegro and Republic of Ireland at Pod Malim Brdom in Petrovac, Montenegro. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Denise O'Sullivan of Republic of Ireland during the UEFA Women's 2021 European Championships Qualifier match between Montenegro and Republic of Ireland at Pod Malim Brdom in Petrovac, Montenegro. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Brighton & Hove Albion began their season on September 6 against Birmingham City. 

O’Sullivan will be available to play on September 13 against Manchester City and the Knocknaheeney woman is excited about the new challenge.

“This is something I never imagined myself doing if we had a proper season with NC Courage, however, I am very excited for the opportunity,” said the former Wilton and Cork City player.

“I left America two and a half weeks ago and flew to Brighton. I then had to quarantine in Brighton by myself for two weeks before I trained with the squad. 

"I am now looking forward to the few months ahead. It’s something different and it makes sense to do this.

“The loan came about when I realised how much quarantine I would have to do if I stayed in the States for these next few months. 

"As I have international duty September, October and December, quarantine each time would be too much.

“During my time here, I hope I can help the team win games and move them further up the table. 

"I hope to bring my experiences of playing in the NWSL and winning many trophies to the squad. I hope to be a leader within the team."

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