SION Swifts Ladies have signed a new American goalkeeper to replace the injured Olivia Walker.
Molly Meehan, from Connecticut, arrived at the weekend and is set to come straight into the Swifts team for the Premiership clash against Cliftonville on Wednesday evening.
In the States Meehan played with the Merrimack College Warriors team and according to Swifts assistant Tommy Canning comes highly recommended.
“We have a good connection out there in Marty Walker, who got us Geny Decker last season,” confirmed Canning.
“He has good links in the college game and he identifies individuals who are interested in playing over here. These are people who have a certain amount of ability and who are interested in experiencing a different culture. A lot of players have no club football after college in the US so coming to Europe is a way of extending playing competitively.”
The new stopper can expect a rigorous examination against at the Reds, who have strengthened their panel since the beginning of the season.
Traditionally games between Cliftonville and Sion are closely contested and Canning is braced for yet another challenging encounter.
“Cliftonville is going to be tough. They are a hard team to play against at the best of times but they have picked up a few players and along with their current internationals they’ll present a formidable challenge,” he said.
“If we can get a win out of that then we’ll be well positioned.”
Swifts are currently sitting third in the table having won two and drawn two of their opening four games. Should the North Tyrone ladies won their game in hand they would be just a point behind leaders Linfield, who Canning insists will be the team to beat.
For Sion it’s been a case of so far so good with the assistant manager stressing that there is room for improvement.
“So far it’s not bad,” he continued.
“We recorded two decent results against Crusaders and Glentoran away and as expected we defeated Derry City and Portadown at home.
“It’s been a mixed bag but four games in we have eight points and if we won our game in hand we will be a point behind leaders Linfield. We can’t complain.
“Crusaders I don’t think are going to be the dominant team that some people thought they would be, Glentoran are the dark horses and anyone who finishes above Linfield are going to win it.
“Even at this early stage they are the pacesetters and are going to be the team to beat.”
“When we have all our players available and fit we have a strong 15. It’s keeping them fit.
“Holidays also become an issue, international games become an issue, obviously Aimee Mackin also plays Gaelic, so we have all these things to factor in from week to week.
“Then again most of the clubs will have the same problems.
“But having seen all the teams except Linfield and Cliftonville I think we are among the contenders. It’s safe to say that we are among three or four teams that could win it.
“We are playing well enough at the minute although it’s taking our new forward unit time to click.”