Hofstra Grad Cleverly Signs Pro Contract In England

cleverly, Hofstra
Rhian Cleverly. Photo: Hofstra Univ.

During her four years at Hofstra University, Rhian Cleverly was a fixture on the backline for head coach Simon Riddiough appearing in 64 matches with 53 starts.

Now, the native of Newport, Wales, who graduated from Hofstra in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, has signed a professional contract with Lewes FC. The team competes in England’s FA Women’s Championship league.

Cleverly signed with Lewes after a season with Le Havre of France’s League 2.

“I’m delighted to have signed for Lewes,” she said. “To play for a team that cares so much about the growth of women’s football is very important to me. After visiting and speaking to Fran (Alonso, the team’s manager) it was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. I can’t wait to meet the girls and start preparing for a successful season.”

Able to play center back or center midfield, Cleverly’s new manager said he is happy to sign a young player who had drawn interest from other clubs.

“We have been trying to bring Rhian to Lewes for a while so I am very happy we can finally do it,” Alonso said. “She brings a lot of international experience and also knows the top tier here in England having been at Bristol City. Rhian is a leader and suits perfectly the way we try to play.”

Among the highlights of Cleverly’s four years at Hofstra was being named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association Rookie Team in 2014. She scored her only collegiate goal during her senior season against Delaware.