It’s been nearly five months since Nicole McClure became a national hero in Jamaica when her two saves in penalty kicks propelled the Reggae Girlz to the team’s first appearance in the Women’s World Cup.
Now, the former Long Island youth soccer player is heading back to Europe. She signed with Sion Swifts of the North Ireland Football League (NIFL) Women’s Premier League. The new season kicks off in April.
Born in Jamaica, Queens, McClure played her youth soccer with the Auburndale Strikers from 1998 to 2003 and then the East Meadow Shooting Stars from 2003-2007.
According to a statement on the Sion Swifts Facebook page, she joined the team after weeks of discussions to finalize terms of her contract.
Before joining the Northern Ireland-based team, McClure has played throughout Europe in countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland, Israel, France, Norway and Croatia. The NIFL’s new season is set to begin in April.
While Jamaica has yet to finalize its roster for this year’s Women’s World Cup, the Caribbean island nation is making its first World Cup appearance thanks in large part to McClure.
During the Concacaf tournament this past fall, Jamaica and Panama faced off during the third-place match and played to a 2-2 draw. The match would eventually go to penalty kicks and McClure entered the match after sitting on the bench for 120 minutes. She would make two saves as Jamaica would win the match 4-2 on penalties and book its trip to France.