Larne goalkeeper Kate Smith (16) goes professional at Inver Park

Inver Women's shot stopper Kate Smith has made history at the club by becoming the first female player to sign a professional contract at Larne FC.
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The highly rated 16-year-old goalkeeper has penned a professional deal following a successful debut campaign with the Inver Reds in the Sports Direct Women’s Premiership last season.

Smith, who arrived at Inver Park from Banbridge Town Ladies in October 2022, is rated as one of Northern Ireland’s brightest young talents and is capped at international level for Northern Ireland U15 and U17s.

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Having played a crucial role in the Inver Women’s record high seventh placed top-flight finish last season, Smith believes signing a professional contract is an excellent step for her development as a player.

Kate Smith puts pen to paper for a pro deal at Larne. SubmittedKate Smith puts pen to paper for a pro deal at Larne. Submitted
Kate Smith puts pen to paper for a pro deal at Larne. Submitted

Speaking to the club's website she said: “I’m very happy [to have signed a professional contract], I really enjoy being here and it’s a really nice team here who supported me when I came in and have helped me reach where I am today.

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“The facilities that we have here are really good and that is important for my development. Things like being able to access the gym and the way the team trains is very professional and it will allow me to continue growing and improving as a player.

“Playing in the Sports Direct Premiership was a step up for me last season, but I really like a challenge and seeing how far I can go with a team, which I believe ended in a successful season overall.

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“Looking forward, I just want to keep getting better while continuing to help the team compete in the Premiership by supporting my teammates and being someone they can rely on as part of the backline.”

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