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Championship move for Republic of Ireland and Shelbourne striker Noonan

The Cork star is joining Durham.

Saoirse Noonan scored her first Ireland senior goal against Georgia in November.
Saoirse Noonan scored her first Ireland senior goal against Georgia in November.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Updated Jan 28th 2022, 6:56 PM

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND international Saoirse Noonan has secured a move to the FA Women’s Championship, joining Durham from Shelbourne.

“Shelbourne FC can confirm Saoirse Noonan has moved to Durham WFC in the English second tier,” the club tweeted today, sending the Cork striker their best wishes.

And Durham unveiled their newest signing, subject to international clearance, this evening.

Noonan, 22, played a central role in Shels’ Women’s National League [WNL] title lift last season, scoring 13 goals in 25 games after making the switch from her native Cork City.

A twice-capped Ireland senior international, Noonan chose to concentrate solely on soccer last year, having previously established herself as a breakout star for the Cork ladies footballers in their march to All-Ireland finals in 2018 and 2020.

The new focus appears to have paid dividends, as she impressed with Shelbourne, cemented herself as a regular in Vera Pauw’s Girls In Green squads — scoring her first senior goal in November’s record-breaking 11-0 win over Georgia — and garnered significant interest from overseas.

“It’s brilliant to be here,” Noonan told the Durham club website. “It’s a big move. This is a really competitive club and they’ve been up there, so I’m buzzing to get going and ready to compete. Really excited.”

Source: Durham Women FC/YouTube

Noonan joins former Peamount United goalkeeper, Naoisha McAloon, at Durham; the club currently sitting fourth in the Championship table.

Manager Lee Sanders added: “Saoirse is another positive signing for the club and is a player who we have been working on for a number of months. She’s another forward – which was an area we wanted to add to – and her record in front of goal and in terms of assists stood out. 

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“She’s had that league winning success coupled with a break into the national squad and working with our coaching staff – Rich [head coach], Steve and the support staff – we’re excited to see what she can add here at Durham.” 

Noonan becomes the second Shels player to depart the Tolka Park outfit today, after Ciara Grant’s move to Rangers was announced this morning.

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