Rankin Returns To The Roar and Striker Hayward Joins Reds

More overnight signing news from the W-League with Brisbane Roar re-signing the hugely talented teenager Jamilla Rankin and Paige Hayward comes on board at Adelaide United.

Above: Jamilla Rankin in possession for Brisbane Roar against Melbourne Victory last season. Photo: Brisbane Roar.

Brisbane Roar have confirmed that W-League Young Footballer of the Year nominee Jamilla Rankin is its first re-signing for the 2021/22 season.

The 18-year-old returns to the team after a remarkable breakout campaign that saw her play every game in the run to the Finals Series.

“I was extremely grateful for the trust that was put in me last season,” said Rankin, who is back in Queensland after a stint playing in the NPL NSW Women’s competition.

“I didn’t really expect so much to come from it – I was just thankful to get a contract.
I’m looking forward to continuing my development and getting another season of experience under my belt.

“I think there will be opportunities for a lot of players to step up and I have full trust that we will perform.”

Though born in New South Wales, Rankin is a former QAS Player of the Year who fine-tuned her development in the NTC program now headed up by new Roar Head Coach Garrath McPherson.

“It is wonderful that we have Jamilla remaining in Queensland to continue her football development,” McPherson said.

“She is a role model to our young female footballers in regards to commitment, dedication and character. Jamilla is a great footballer and a great person and represents the types of footballers we have coming through the underpinning programs in the state.”

Above: New Adelaide United signing Paige Hayward. Photo: @PaigeHayward9

Meanwhile, Adelaide United have announced the signing of forward Paige Hayward, for the upcoming W-League 2021/22 season.

Born in Sydney, Hayward spent five years in the United States playing in college with the University of Texas in 2014 before transferring to Texas South University a year later.

Paige Hayward excelled with the Lady Tigers, scoring 25 goals across three seasons while starring in the 2016 campaign having recorded a prolific 13 goals and five assists.

Hayward also concurrently spent time with the Houston Aces in the United Women’s Soccer league and was invited to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) outfit Houston Dash as a non-roster invitee.

In 2021, the attacker moved to Austria and plied her trade with Austria’s FFC Vorderland in the Frauen Bundesliga and scored one goal in five appearances.

Discussing her decision to join Adelaide, Hayward said: “I’m very excited to have the chance to play in the W-League this season.

“I was looking to return home to Australia and I’m grateful to Adrian (Stenta) and the Club for giving me this opportunity to play in such a strong competition.

“The team enjoyed a great season last year and I’m hoping that I can help the squad do even better this time around.”

Adelaide United’s W-League Head Coach, Adrian Stenta, said: “We’re really excited to have signed Paige.

“Her experience abroad in the United States and Austria will certainly improve our squad.

“Paige is a natural goal-scorer and a smart footballer and her arrival adds a lot of quality to our attack.”

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