Casey Howe’s ambition is to ‘add to the team’ as she embarks on the next chapter of her footballing career at Sligo Rovers.
The 20-year-old, from Maguiresbridge, is one of the most exciting young players, having won two senior caps for Northern Ireland, and 12 caps for the underage national team.
Howe spent the last two seasons at Glentoran, making 27 appearances and scoring 13 goals.
She is keen to build on that experience with her new club, Sligo Rovers, in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
“I’d known Steve [Feeney] and Jay [McCartney] from my time at Ballinamallard when I was playing youth football,” explained Howe, “they made the move down to Sligo last season and they said they had been keeping track of me for a while and they reached out and it went from there.
“I want to add to the team and help them move on and move up the table. It runs from March to November, so it will be a good season.”
The Sligo Rovers manager is pleased to have Howe on board for the new season.
“I think she’ll bring a lot,” said Feeney, “she’s very young but she’s had a lot of success and she’ll be wanting to win and challenge for games and titles. That will be a great boost to us in terms of her attitude.
“Then, on the pitch, with her technical ability and creativity, she’s always looking to create for herself or her teammates. She’ll be a big player for us.”
The former Glens forward was part of the Rovers side that played Athlone Town WFC in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
“I played the full 90 minutes and enjoyed it,” said Howe, “it’s been tough going into the unknown and not knowing anybody, but going down to training will help. Everyone has been so welcoming so far.
“When the league starts up, there’ll be a lot more travelling around Ireland, but that should be good.”
Already in her young career, Howe has experienced plenty of success with Linfield and Glentoran, and she hopes Sligo will add to this.
“Winning Irish Cups, Country Antrim Shields, they were real good memories,” recalled Howe, “playing in the Champions League was fantastic. When we last went to Romania, although there was a lot of problems with losing suitcases, it was still a great trip and good memories.”
Howe’s last season with the Glens was disrupted due to injury, firstly with a knee injury, and latterly a problem with her ankle.
The talented attacker is currently working at the Return to Play Sports Medicine clinic in Derrygonnelly, and that experience has helped with her recovery.
“I’m loving it out there. You get to see all these types of sport injuries and it’s really good.
“I want to go on to do physio, after football, so it’s a really good experience to see all of those other injuries.”
Last week, Northern Ireland parted company with their manager Kenny Shiels and Howe is targeting a return to the international team this season.
“Now with Kenny [Shiels] gone, there’s a big opening there,” she said, “I’m not sure who’ll they bring in, but hopefully it will be someone with a fresh eye. I hope that I’ll get my chance.”
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