Ireland striker Leanne Kiernan joins Women's Super League newcomers West Ham United from Shelbourne

Wed, Jul 18 2018

Kiernan in action for Shelbourne against UCD Waves as she bagged a hat-trick in a 7-0 win. Credit: Al Robinson

Republic of Ireland international striker Leanne Kiernan has signed for English Women's Super League newcomers West Ham United ahead of the coming season.

The 19-year-old moves to London after a three-year stint with Shelbourne that's seen her score 37 league goals in three-and-a-half seasons.

Cavan native Kiernan raced into the lead for the Women's National League golden boot with 11 goals in her first six games this season before moving to London last month.

“I'm delighted to be joining West Ham, as it's the next step in a brilliant adventure for me,” Kiernan tod West Ham's official website.

"It's a big step over the water, but the girls are lovely and I'm really enjoying it. It's a great club to join.

“There is so much ambition to this club and I'm really looking forward to seeing how this season goes.

"It makes it a bit easier that everybody is in the same boat as me as we're new to West Ham. Everybody is friendly and it feels like home!

“We only arrived a few weeks ago, but it already feels like we've been friends for years as we all get on very well."

Kiernan scored a hat-trick as the Reds beat Wexford Youths 5-0 in the 2016 FAI Cup final during her breakout season in north Dublin.

She made her senior international bow in an uncapped match against the Basque Country in Sue Ronan's final game and has established herself as Colin Bell's first choice striker since.

She's the second member of the international squad to make the leap to international football this month after, as extratime.ie exclusively revealed, Claire O'Riordan joined German side MSV Duisburg from champions Wexford Youths. 

Kiernan added: "I'm looking forward to giving it a go and seeing how I get on. Hopefully it'll go well. Anybody coming here wants to be in the starting eleven, so I'll work hard, get my head down and hopefully get a place.

"We want to get our names out there as West Ham this season and show we're not just in the league to take part. We want to make our mark."