MID-ULSTER’S Simone Magill has been snapped up by English Super League side Everton Ladies.
“I am absolutely delighted with the move to Everton,” 18-year-old Simone told the MAIL. “It is a dream to play in England, in the Super League.
“Everton are a team who no one should write off,” she said, adding that she was disappointed to miss the season opener against rivals Liverpool due to a bug picked up while on international duty. “We have got loads of new players so a draw against them was a pretty good start to the season and a good test. I’m raging that I missed the derby though!
“Everton are one of the best teams in England. Obviously the standard over here is really high so I can’t wait to get going.
“It is difficult to predict where we could finish up, all I know is that we are a team that can compete in every game we play. It will be a challenge but I think we can get into the Champion’s League and maybe even push for the league title.”
Simone will have to wait even longer to make her much-sought debut for the Toffees as, following on the heels of the trip to Cyprus, she will hope to add to her 28 caps as N. Ireland take on Portugal.
As a striker, Simone - a Magherafelt High School student - is relishing the prospect of teaming up with Everton and England star Toni Duggan: “From what I have seen of Toni in training she is a fantastic player and it is great to have someone like her to play alongside. I will definitely be listening to her and taking any advice she gives so that I can develop as a player.”
However, Simone was quick to remember the teams and coaches who helped her during her rapid ascent to the Super League.
“I started playing with Cookstown Youth FC when I was ten after one of the coaches saw me playing at the Coagh 5-a-side tournament,” she said.
“I then worked my way up through the Mid-Ulster Juniors to play for Mid-Ulster Ladies when I was 14.
“I think that being allowed to play with the boys at the start really gave me an edge and really was the perfect launching pad for my career.”
DUP Mid-Ulster MLA, Councillor Ian McCrea, congratulated Simone Magill on signing for Everton Ladies.
“I am delighted that Simone has been signed by Everton Ladies. It comes as a continued recognition of her sheer talent that has been displaying at Mid Ulster Ladies and internationally for Northern Ireland Ladies.
“Simone is an up and coming striker renowned for her pace; I wish her well and hope she’ll have a longer and successful domestic and international career.”