Jessica signs history making contract deal

Jessica signs history making contract deal

12 January 2022

CARRYDUFF footballer Jessica Foy has made history by becoming the first female to sign a professional contract with a club in Northern Ireland.

The Glentoran Women’s captain Jessica Foy put pen to paper in what was a significant moment for women’s football in the country.

“Firstly, I am honoured to be the first female professional footballer in the domestic NIFL Women’s Premiership,” said Foy. 

“Our club has been striving for years to provide more opportunities for girls and women to succeed and to push women’s football further in Northern Ireland. 

“The next step for us was to professionalise women’s football and it is an incredible honour to be a part of that,” she continued.

“It is fantastic to see women’s football moving forward, providing a clear pathway for young players to now progress through the academy to professional status.” 

She added: “This is history in the making and I am very excited to see what the future holds.”

The 26 year-old has enjoyed a successful last 12 months with the East Belfast club, having won a hat-trick of trophies and retaining the league title.

Despite the left back, who has starred on the international stage with her country, being the first to sign the deal, Foy is now joined with good company in the form of her team-mates in a series of signings which will highlight how much the women’s game is beginning to grow locally.

Glentoran chairman Stephen Henderson, said: “I can think of no better role model than our captain, Jess Foy, to fulfil the iconic role of being the very first female professional footballer playing in Northern Ireland. 

“While Jess is the first to put pen to paper, we are delighted to confirm that our back-to-back clean sweep squad have followed suit,” he continued.

“These contracts reward our players for their dedication and commitment, whilst also providing some protection to our club for their development.” 

He added: “In the short to medium term, we can act as a springboard into the full-time professional game in England and Scotland, but taking a longer view, we aspire to offer that opportunity here at the Oval, for both our male and female players.”