These are exciting times for former Ards striker Chloe Brown, who picked up a national title with East Grinstead on Sunday just 72 hours after being recalled to the Ireland squad, writes John Flack.
The 24-year-old was a member of the Sussex outfit’s indoor team which lifted the Super Sixes English title on Sunday in London.East Grinstead crushed Buckingham 10-2 in the final watched by 5,000 spectators and a live online television audience.
Brown played virtually the entire 40 minutes after earlier helping her new club beat the holders Bowden-Hightown in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw in the semi-finals.
On the same day as Brown was celebrating her first winner’s medal with East Grinstead, Ards’ seven year success run in the Irish indoor championship came to an end with a 6-1 loss to Railway Union in the final.
Brown played a significant role in her former club’s previous triumphs and scored more than 50 goals in six European Championships.
Now though, she can’t wait to play for East Grinstead on the continent next year while Ards will be staying at home with Railway taking their place.
Brown said: “I am loving life in England and I was delighted to be a part of the squad for the Super Sixes and I am now looking forward to playing in Europe next year with the club.”
“We had been working very hard in order to prepare fully for the finals day and we knew our semi-final would probably turn out to be our toughest match.”
This week, Brown will be joining up with the Ireland squad for the first time in more than a year, after missing out even on the 29-strong World Cup training panel ahead of the trip to London.
Ireland travel to Spain for three games against their hosts and two against India, both of whom they beat on the way to clinching the silver medals on their remarkable journey last August.
The games in Spain are part of the preparations for the upcoming Olympic qualifying cycle for Tokyo 2020.
Brown will be doing all she can to grasp the opportunity, having yet to play in a major tournament for Ireland, despite winning 53 caps to date.
She added: “I’m looking forward to coming back into the national squad as I have been working very hard on becoming a better all round player and this is one of the main reasons why I decided to go and play in England.”
“It will be strange being back but ultimately its an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to see what happens in the future.”