Cork City star striker Saoirse Noonan confirms move to Shels

Switch to Dublin could impact on her ability to line out for Cork ladies footballers
Cork City star striker Saoirse Noonan confirms move to Shels

Saoirse Noonan, Cork City, celebrates her second goal against Treaty United during their FAI cup semi-final at Curraheen. Picture: Dan Linehan

SAOIRSE Noonan has officially completed her transfer from Cork City to their Women’s National League rivals Shelbourne.

The striker had been the subject of interest from England and Iceland but the Dublin club confirmed on Thursday evening that they had secured her signature ahead of the 2021 campaign.

As reported earlier in the week by the Echo, Noonan had informed her former team-mates and the coaching staff of her decision to leave City at pre-season training on Monday night, believing the move will provide her with a better chance of representing the Republic of Ireland at senior level.

Noonan took part in training with Noel King’s, who has previously managed the Republic of Ireland women’s senior side, first session on Wednesday night and the Reds are due to open their season against Athlone Town on March 27 before travelling to Turner’s Cross to take on Rónán Collins side the following weekend.

"I am delighted to be joining Shelbourne FC for the upcoming season,” Noonan told Shelbourne’s official website.

Shelbourne Women FC new signing Saoirse Noonan poses for a portrait at her home in Grange, Cork. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Shelbourne Women FC new signing Saoirse Noonan poses for a portrait at her home in Grange, Cork. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

“It’s an exciting venture for me and I am really looking forward to working with Noel and the team.

"I would like to thank Cork City FC for everything over the last number of years. They have helped me grow as both a player and as a person and I want to truly thank them all for the support.

"I look forward to taking up a new role and playing my part Shelbourne.” 

The 21-year-old’s impressive performances helped the Leesiders finish fourth last season which was their highest finish since the club’s maiden season.

She also played a significant role in their FAI Cup triumph in 2017 and in them reaching the final again in 2020, where they were defeated by Peamount United.

She remains the City women’s all-time top scorer, just one shy of a landmark 50th goal for the club, while she was also closing in on her 100th appearance.

The former Douglas Hall attacker was named Women’s National League Player of the Month last September after scoring twice during a five-match win streak for Cork and she was included in a provisional Republic of Ireland senior squad for the European Championship qualifier against Germany in December.

Noonan is also a member of the Cork ladies’ football team and helped them reach the All-Ireland final last year where they were beaten in the final by Dublin. 

It remains unclear how this move will impact her ability to play for both codes going forward.

On the same evening of this announcement, City confirmed the signing of Sarah McKevitt while also confirming that Nathalie O’Brien, Zara Foley, and Christina Dring have joined Becky Cassin, Katie McCarthy, Danielle Burke, Shaunagh McCarthy, and Kate O’Donovan in re-signing.

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