We are delighted to announce that Hollie Johnston and Erin Montgomery have both signed professional deals with the Inver Reds ahead of the 2024 Sports Direct Women’s Premiership season.
The pair become the second and third players to agree professional terms with our women’s first team, following goalkeeper Kate Smith who last month became the first-ever female player to sign a professional contract with the club.
Johnston joined the Inver Women from Crusaders Strikers in April 2022, scoring 26 goals and playing a pivotal role throughout her debut season which saw the team win the NIWFA Championship title and secure promotion to the top-flight.
The forward continued her fine form throughout the 2023 season, scoring 11 goals in the Women’s Premiership alongside being named as NIFL’s Player of the Week on two occasions. At the end of the season, Johnston received the club’s Top Goalscorer, Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year awards for her outstanding performances throughout the 2023 campaign.
Discussing her new deal, Johnston commented:
“I’m delighted to have signed a professional contract with Larne. I have really enjoyed my time here so far and feel like this has shown in my performances, as I have played some of my best football over the past two seasons.
“Having been promoted to the Women’s Premiership last year and enjoyed a solid debut season, I’m confident we are going to be in a position to kick on and establish ourselves in the top-flight each year we compete. I’m really looking forward to next season and would like to thank everyone for their continued support which has allowed me to sign my professional deal.”
Also signing a professional contract is the highly rated Erin Montgomery, who arrived at Inver Park as a deadline signing from Lisburn Rangers in July 2023.
The forward wasted no time in making her mark at the club, going straight into the first team squad and scoring a hat-trick on her debut to secure a vital 3-2 victory over Lisburn Ladies. Montgomery remained a key player in the first team for the remainder of the season and was awarded Goal of the Season for one of her three goals against Lisburn Ladies at our End of Season Awards Night.
After signing her professional contract, Montgomery said:
“I signed for Larne back in July because I recognised the direction the club was going in and believed that Inver Park would be the perfect place for me to come and develop as a footballer. This has definitely been the case and I’m pleased to have signed a professional contract which will allow me to spend my foreseeable future at the club.
“We have a great group of girls already with us, fantastic coaches and excellent facilities at our disposal which I have no doubt will allow both the team and myself to continue the forward trajectory which we’ve experienced so far. Our pre-season training has just started ahead of the 2024 season and we are all really excited to get back into the thick of it over the next few weeks and months before the big kick-off in April.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me in my playing journey, which has led to a professional contract – something that I have always dreamt of while growing up as a young player.”