Sports

Lauren is living the dream in Iceland...

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Lauren is living the dream in Iceland... thumbnailLocal girl, Lauren Brennan, in action for her club Grindavik in Iceland.

SION Mills girl, Lauren Brennan, who has recently completed an eye-opening move to play football in Iceland, admits her ultimate goal is to pull on the top of the most successful club in women's football, Arsenal Ladies, one day.

The 22-year-old was speaking to the Strabane Weekly News after an impressive cameo appearance for Northern Ireland in their remarkable 1-0 victory over Portugal last week.

The striker, who came on as a second-half substitute in the friendly played in Aguedo on Thursday night, held the ball up well in attack, playing a key role, as Alfie Wylie's side fought for a single-goal win.

"Portugal was an inspiring journey," Lauren said. "We had the chance to play two friendlies against a team who are 20 places above us in the world rankings.

"We lost the first game 1-0, however, we were buzzing for the second game and we showed them how we can play as a team."

It wasn't Lauren's first experience with Northern Ireland. She has been a regular in various teams since first making her debut with the U15 team.

"I'm now looking forward to visiting Croatia next month and playing in the Istria Cup," she said. "Our senior team is really coming together and I feel like 2017 will be our year."

Having played for her local club Sion Swifts, of the Premier League, since the age of eight, Lauren recently made the bold move to Iceland after signing for Grindavik who have just been promoted to the highest tier of ladies football in the country.

"The move happened with the help of Emma Higgins who I also play with on the national team," said Lauren.

"After talking to her about the lifestyle and standards of football she was kind enough to pass my details on and from there the club contacted me about a contract which I was more than happy to accept to have the chance to play semi-pro.

"Iceland is an amazing place to live, even if it is freezing! As well as being absolutely beautiful there is also a very high standard of football played here with excellent facilities."

Lauren admits County Tyrone is a very different place to Iceland, though she is thoroughly enjoying the experience. "It definitely took me a few weeks to settle in.

"But, with the help of friends, I faced it head on and I made sure I gave it a good shot. I regret nothing, my experience has been amazing and I've grown so much as a player.

"I think the standard in Iceland is better than back home. That's not underestimating the talent that's in Northern Ireland, there are many amazing players in that league, I just feel for me it was the best move.

"It provides me with a different challenge and I get to play alongside and against a lot of international players from many different countries so it's always good to get that experience."

While she loved representing her local club for so many years and now thrives of playing in Iceland, Lauren admits her ultimate dream is to play for the esteemed Arsenal Ladies.

"My dream is to be at Arsenal ladies. Some people may look at that and laugh but the fact is if I work hard enough I'm going to get there, and I fully believe that. It may that be in one year or four."

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