Heather Payne becomes the latest to swap WNL for professional football with Bristol City move

Thu, Aug 23 2018

Payne spent two-and-a-half seasons in the Women's National League with Peamount. Credit: Eddie Lennon

Republic of Ireland striker Heather Payne has become the latest Women's National League player to make the move to professional football abroad as she joins Bristol City.

Roscommon native Payne has spent the past three seasons with Peamount United after making the move from local Galway side Salthill Devon.

The 18-year-old joins a Robins side who have finished eighth in each of the last two seasons since returning to the top tier of the Women's Super League.

She joins fellow striker Leanne Kiernan in making the move to the WSL in England after she swapped Shelbourne for West Ham United.

Wexford Youths forward Claire O'Riordan also took the decision to move abroad in pursuit of full-time football, joining German Bundesliga side MSV Duisburg.

“It’s fantastic to be signing with Bristol City Women and to be able to experience the Women’s Super League this season,” Payne told the Robins' official website.

“I’m looking forward to learning and developing my game here. It’s the club that is right for me at this stage in my career.”

Payne, who can operate all across the frontline or deeper in midfield, has scored 13 goals in three seasons for the Peas.

Her performances impressed international manager Colin Bell enough to earn her first senior cap in a 2017 friendly defeat to Scotland.

Peamount have moved quickly to replace Payne with the addition of her fellow Ireland international Dearbhaile Beirne, who signs from UCD Waves.