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Ireland star ready for new challenge in 'the home of defensive football' after Arsenal exit

Louise Quinn recently joined Italian side Fiorentina.

Next chapter: Louise Quinn.
Next chapter: Louise Quinn.

STAR IRELAND DEFENDER Louise Quinn is pleased to find herself in “the home of defensive football” after signing for Italian side Fiorentina.

The 30-year-old centre back’s move to Florence was confirmed last week, after her Arsenal exit earlier this summer.

While Quinn won a league title and a league cup during her three seasons at the Gunners, making 76 appearances and scoring seven goals, the next chapter brings the Wicklow native to mainland Europe.

Speaking to the club’s media platform from her new training base, Quinn said: “The idea of a new challenge in a new country with a fantastic team brought me here.

“As soon as I heard that Fiorentina wanted to sign me, I was directly interested.

“Obviously from playing in the Champions League against this team, I knew I was coming to a good club.”

The former Peamount and Eskilstuna United star’s deal is a one-year contract, as she aims to nail down a regular place in the Fiorentina defence.

And that aspect of the Women’s Serie A — the league Ireland striker Stephanie Roche spent the last two seasons in with Florentia — certainly excites Quinn.

“Obviously Italy is so strong defensively, but it’s really all over the pitch,” the Blessington woman continued. “The strikers like to defend; the midfielders, everyone plays a part in that and that is something that I really, really like.

I may be only new but it’s really exciting for me. This is the home of defensive football. As a defender, you want the challenge.

“I want to become better, I want to become stronger, I want to go outside my comfort zone – which I feel like I am with the new environment and the language. There’s a lot of differences but I love the challenge.”

“I think the detail in the technical side of the game is really special, something that maybe you don’t do as much of in Ireland and the UK,” she later addd.

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“To be really technical on the ball and skilful to keep the ball close to your feet, that’s really something that I want to learn more of. That’s something that’s really special, that I’m trying to pick up and that I’m really enjoying.”

Describing herself as a “team player,” Quinn now hopes to bring something new to Fiorentina — who were second in the table when the league was terminated amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine points off champions Juventus — who had a game in hand at the time — the Florence outfit qualified for the 2020/21 Uefa Women’s Champions League.

Now, it’s about going onward and upwards, says Quinn.

“I’ve already come into a great team and it’s about trying to take it up some extra percentages. If I can help a little bit, if the other new players can help a little bit, and we can all bring it together, we can be winning the cups and the league.

“It’s very, very possible for us. For me personally, it’s a massive challenge but I love to learn. I may be getting a little bit older but I have so much more to learn.”

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Emma Duffy

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