Bryan Keane/INPHO Abbie Larkin is on the move.
Shelbourne 'disappointed' after Irish international's re-signing U-turn
Abbie Larkin is now departing the back-to-back Women’s National League champions.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND international Abbie Larkin has made a U-turn and is now departing Shelbourne.

The talented 17-year-old, who has four senior Irish caps under her belt and is pushing to be included in Vera Pauw’s squad for next summer’s World Cup, had been confirmed as a Shels player for 2023 earlier this month.

But the back-to-back Women’s National League [WNL] champions and FAI Cup holders confirmed a reverse of the decision last night.

“Abbie Larkin has informed Shelbourne FC of her wish to leave the club,” a statement reads.

“Abbie had initially indicated her intention to remain with the club and, on the 9th of December, Shelbourne FC made an announcement that she would be staying.

“Naturally, the club is disappointed at this change of heart but we ultimately respect that it is the player’s decision to make.

“We thank Abbie for her time at the club, during which she was part of a team that won two league titles and the FAI Cup.

“She was also capped at Senior International level for the Republic of Ireland and has come to the attention of several English WSL clubs.”

Larkin has been widely linked with a switch to Shamrock Rovers, the Dubliner unable to move to the UK until she turns 18 due to Brexit.

The Irish Examiner is reporting that Reds goalkeeper Amanda Budden — another Irish international — and star defensive duo Shauna Fox and Jess Gargan are also set to join the retuning Hoops.

Áine O’Gorman, Stephanie Roche and Jessica Hennessy are among the big names who have already signed for the Tallaght outfit, back in the league after a seven-year hiatus.

Yesterday, Shelbourne announced the re-signings of Noelle Murray and Megan Smyth Lynch, and the arrival of Nadine Clare from DLR Waves.

“Nadine has been on our radar for a long time,” manager Noel King said. “She’s an athletic central midfielder that gives lots of energy and has a proven ability to turn defence into attacking opportunities. We have great ambition for her and we’re very pleased that she chose Shelbourne.”

“I’m delighted to sign for Shelbourne,” Clare added. “The club has an incredible track record of success over recent seasons and has proven its commitment to the development of the women’s game in this country.

“The opportunity to play Champions League next year was a huge factor in my decision to sign for Shels and I can’t wait to get started.”

DLR had also previously announced their retention of the midfielder.

2023 will be an historic year for the WNL following the introduction of professional contracts.

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