With an impressive roster of Irish international from youth level right up to the senior side already in their ranks, Shelbourne Ladies have added senior international and former Peamount United player Grace Murray to their highly impressive squad.
Confirming the signature of Murray for his side, Shelbourne manager Casey McQuillan spoke with great optimism about what Murray will bring to the squad.
“She will be a great welcomed addition to the squad and this is a clear sign that we as a club are moving in the right direction.”
Noting her vast experience at this level and being highly regarded as one of the best left sided players in the league, McQuillan is banking on the experienced Newry woman to bring her winning mentality and strong professional attitude to Shelbourne this season.
“Grace has a history of winning titles and cups, not to mention she is a senior international.”
With her proposed move back to the Women’s National League to play with the newly formed Shelbourne Ladies Football Club, it was the current Shels player and close friend of Murray, Noelle Murray whom had a major influence in her decision to sign for the Dublin side.
With the prospect of joining up with teammates at club level now and international level, Murray will now be training and playing regularly with the likes of Katie McCabe and Siobhan Killen. With a charming humour Murray admits to looking forward to actually playing alongside the Shels ladies, rather than against them.
“We had several battles over the years and I am looking forward to working with the girls to achieve success with Shelbourne Ladies.”
The Shelbourne Ladies isn’t an entirely new football club, the team that will kick off in the national league in another few weeks is the product of an amalgamation between Raheny United and Shelbourne’s senior women’s team.
Murray was referring to her spell with Peamount United and the intense rivalry that was struck up between the two United’s at the time. Murray alongside other decorated internationals such as Stephanie Roche and Louise Quinn helped secure the inaugural Women’s National League back in 2011. But it was Raheny United who won the title for the following two seasons, as well as coming out on top against Peamount in an FAI Cup Final.
Possibly a victim of their own initial success Peamount United have gone through a couple of barren years in recent times and players of the impressive calibre of Murray sought other footballing opportunities. So the former Dundalk City and St Francis Ladies player returned to the city of her birth to line out for Newry City. Mindful of the local community, Murray completely embraced the experience and played a pivotal role in the clubs subsequent promotion and cup success.
While she was away Murray still kept a keen eye on the progress of teams in the national league, and she talks with surprise and delight about the winning championship season that Wexford Woman had and she believes the league is completely open this season.
“I feel Shelbourne, UCD Waves, Wexford and possibly Peamount will be in the mix at the end of the season.”
With a proven record at every level and every league she has competed in, there is no doubt the former Raheny and now Shelbourne players will be relishing the prospect of playing with one of the finest players the Women’s National League has seen in its short history to date. Murray believes her game will only get better at club level and indeed internationally as the Irish women go in search of qualification for Euro 2017 in Holland.
“Learning how team-mates play is vital and I think it will be very beneficial to us as a team and also to make the step together on an international level also.”
Scheduled to train with her new club this week, Murray could well be in the squad that takes on Castlebar Celtic in this weekend’s FAI Shield encounter in Santry, Dublin. With four honours up for grab this year in the women’s season, Murray could yet still be adding to her ever growing trophy cabinet.