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Academy rewards

Just two days remain until Cliftonville Ladies commence their Danske Bank Women’s Premiership campaign and, with the emphasis firmly in youth development, a number of up and coming stars are expected to be handed their chance to shine in the season ahead.

The Reds – who host Comber Rec Ladies at Solitude on Wednesday night (8pm) – started the 2019 term with a 1-0 win over Linfield Ladies in last Monday’s County Antrim Cup First Round tie but sat out the opening round of fixtures when the League schedule began 48 hours later.

That defeat of the Blues saw no fewer than four new academy graduates involved and, as Leah McEvoy, Joana Da Silva, Carla Devine and Northern Ireland Under 17 captain Toni-Leigh Finnegan continue their elevation to the senior ranks, it’s worth noting that long-time servants Tiarna McKenna and Jo-Anne McCarthy were in the dugout, undertaking their recently-assigned roles of Goalkeeping Coach and Strength & Conditioning guide, respectively.

From Under 9s right through to our senior side, we are proud to say our female teams have gone from strength to strength in recent seasons and if you’d like to get involved, we’d be more than happy to welcome you along.

All Academy squads (for players born between 2002-2010) train at the Club’s former base on the Cliftonville Road Cricket Ground opposite Solitude every Thursday (5.30-7pm), with anyone interested in signing up asked to contact Head of Academy Marissa Callaghan on 07706182378.