Rovers Ladies have secured the services of rising star Keira Walsh until the end of the season.
Keira has spent six seasons with Rovers’ Centre of Excellence and now makes the step up to first team football.
The 16-year-old has enjoyed a stunning start to the year – making her England Under-19 debut in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Norway at the end of January, before bagging a hat-trick for Rovers’ Under-17s in their FA Girls Youth Cup quarter-final victory over Sunderland earlier this month.
Rovers’ interim manager Gemma Donnelly, who coached Keira at Under-14 level, was delighted to capture the starlet’s signature.
She said: “We are looking forward to having Keira with us until the end of the season and we hope that she’s not sucked into the development squad of a Women’s Super League team, where her talent would be wasted.
“She’s had experience of the technical element of the game and now she needs experience of the physical element of the game and we feel that Blackburn Rovers can provide that, given the league that we play in.
“She will remain involved in Centre of Excellence football, as well as with the Ladies, and there are some big games coming up for both teams, including a Lancashire Cup final, FA Women’s Cup fourth round tie and FA Girls Youth Cup semi-final, as well as a jam-packed league programme to catch up on and picking up points is our main priority.
“Keira will play in a team that has a multitude of internationals, including English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish, but we are confident she will rise to the challenge and take her football to the next level.
“It is testament to the Centre of Excellence for producing these young players and the strong link we have with the Ladies team that we can offer the most talented individuals in youth football the opportunity to play the highest level of women’s football in a winter league. We hope that more players from the Centre of Excellence can follow in her footsteps.”
The midfield playmaker, who was vice-captain of the England Under-17 side that competed at the European Championships in December, will be part of the Rovers Ladies squad for this Sunday’s Premier League clash at home to Sheffield.