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Ireland internationals Keeva Keenan and Claire Walsh on the move

Keenan joins Shelbourne after leaving Celtic, while Walsh is swapping Peamount United for Glasgow City.

keeva keenna Signed, sealed, delivered: Keeva Keenan. Source: Shelbourne FC.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND international Keeva Keenan has made the move back to home soil, signing for Shelbourne from Celtic.

Her Irish team-mate Claire Walsh is also set to make a fresh start, with Glasgow City announcing the signing of the 26-year-old from Peamount United.

Keenan, 23, returns to Shels after playing in Scotland since 2016, first with Glasgow City and then with rivals Celtic, where she was named Player of the Year in her first full campaign at the club.

The versatile defender was released by the Hoops last month, and now joins Noel King’s Women’s National League [WNL] squad immediately for the remainder of the 2021 season.

Dublin native Keenan was at Tolka Park to watch Shels’ dramatic, last-gasp 4-3 win over Peamount United on Saturday, the Reds leapfrogging the defending champions at the top of the table as the title race was blown wide open.

The Ballymun star’s arrival comes as a huge boost, and she’s expected to play a central part in the run-in.

“It’s great to have Keeva come back to Shelbourne where she is comfortable with everyone,” King, in his first year in charge of the side, said.

“Her ability to play in different positions and her international experience will strengthen the club’s challenge for success as we approach the halfway stage.”

“A decision I already know is the right one. Looking forward to being back in red and back with my girls. I’m home,” the player wrote on Twitter.

Keenan has been involved with Vera Pauw’s Ireland squads recently, catching the eye when given the opportunity.

Impressive at full-back in particular, she was a mainstay through the Ireland underage ranks, excelling for the U17s and U19s, helping the latter to the semi-finals of the 2014 Uefa European Championships after scoring against England in the group stages.

Keenan previously played for Raheny United, and then Shelbourne after their amalgamation, in the WNL from 2014 to 2016.

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claire-walsh Glasgow-bound: Claire Walsh. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Walsh has signed a two-year deal with Glasgow City, having impressed for Peamount while playing against the Scottish side in the Champions League last season.

The central defender, who joined Peamount in 2018 and has been named in the Women’s National League Team of the Year on three occasions, has won three senior caps for Ireland.

“I am delighted to have signed my first professional contract for Glasgow City,” she said. “It’s such a successful club and I can’t wait to get started and help the team as much as I can.”

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Emma Duffy

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