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Year and now

Huge congratulations to Cliftonville Ladies defender Billie Simpson, who has been recognised as last season’s Danske Bank Women’s Premiership Player of the Year.

The 26-year-old Northern Ireland international, who shot to fame after her outrageous volleyed goal from inside her own half against Sion Swifts last August went viral, scored six times in 16 Premiership appearances for the Reds last term and is the first player from outside of Linfield Ladies to win the Player of the Year accolade, which has been voted for by representatives of the Premiership’s member clubs.

Martin Douglas’ side – whose defence of the County Antrim Cup commences when they host Linfield on April 15 – begin the new League season with a home game against Comber Rec Ladies on Wednesday, April 24 and will then face Derry City at Solitude before their first away game of the season takes them to Sion Swifts on May 8.

A trip to Linfield follows seven days later ahead of the term’s first North Belfast Derby against Crusaders Strikers at Seaview on May 22.

A home date with Glentoran Women on the 29th completes the first round of Premiership fixtures, with the Reds – who sit things out on matchday one to accommodate the uneven number of teams in the division – handed another fortnight’s break until resuming their schedule away to Comber Rec on June 19.

The full set of Danske Bank Women’s Premiership fixtures are available here.