Ireland full-back Sophie Perry joins Lewes on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion

Sun, Jan 27 2019

Perry in action during Ireland's 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to the Netherlands in September. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

Republic of Ireland defender Sophie Perry has joined English Championship side Lewes on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion.

The left-back will ply her trade in the second tier Lewes after finding her opportunities limited since recovering from an injury at the beginning of the season.

Brighton-born Perry rejoined her hometown club from Reading at the beginning of the 2017 short season, which saw the Eagles finish sixth in the then-WSL 2.

She helped Brighton to promotion last season following a second-placed finish but sustained an injury during the summer that saw her miss Ireland’s final World Cup qualifying win over Northern Ireland.

The 32-year-old has struggled to regain her place in the Brighton first team this year and will now take a step down in order to find much-needed gametime.

“With the competition for places in defence, Sophie has not played as regularly as she would’ve liked,” manager Hope Powell told the club’s website.

“This loan move is an ideal one for all three parties, as it still allows her to train full time with us and play for Lewes at the same time.

“We will be keeping a close eye on Sophie’s progress, and we wish her all the best for the remainder of the season.”

Perry spent time in the Arsenal academy as a teenager before joining Brighton, and in 2005 she moved back to London to link up with Chelsea.

She spent seven years with the Blues, including one loan spell with Brighton, before returning to her hometown club permanently in 2012.

Perry, who played with England up to under-23 level before declaring for Ireland in 2012, spent a year with Reading in 2016 before returning once more to the south coast.