Celtic defender Caitlin Hayes has decided to play for the Republic of Ireland.
Playing for Celtic in the Scottish Women's Premier League, Caitlin - who turns 28 today - has been training with the Ireland squad this week ahead of securing her Irish citizenship.
Hayes joined Celtic in 2020 and has been outstanding for the Hoops ever since her arrival. So outstanding that she managed to win the PFA Women's Player of the Year last season. Eligible through her Offaly-born Grandfather (James Hayes), the centre-back could be in contention to make the match-day squad for the UEFA Nations League game against Northern Ireland on Saturday, September 23.
Born in Warrington, England, Caitlin came through at Everton before attending Mississippi College and then launched her senior career with Lewes ahead of joining Celtic in 2020.
Speaking about the move, Hayes said, "It's incredible to come into such an environment and group of girls, and honestly just be a sponge, learn off them and hopefully bring a little to the table," said Hayes.
"It's just a great honour and a privilege to be around these girls each and every day. My grandfather James is from Co Offaly. My dad's side is Irish. It is a dream that I've been chasing for a while, and I'm thankful to have the honour and privilege to play."
Caitlin offers a new option in defence for Interim Head Coach Eileen Gleeson as she is without Aoife Mannion and Niamh Fahey for the opening Nations League clash on Saturday.
Over 38,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's historic clash with the North. It's the first time the Ireland women's team will have played a full international at the Lansdowne Road venue.