Glentoran Women’s teenage star Joely Andrews has been named as the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Association Danske Bank Women’s Player of the Month for August.
After impressing domestically and then starring on the Glens’ Women’s Champions League trip to Finland 19-year-old Joely follows her team mate Kerry Beattie, who won the award in June.
Joely was instrumental in Glentoran winning all three of their Danske Bank Women’s Premiership games during August, scoring 14 goals and conceding just one.
She then shone on the big stage with an eye-catching performance in a narrow European defeat to Swiss side Servette before turning in an outstanding display in the Glens’ 2-0 win over Cluj of Romania, capped by a stunning goal.
“It was a bit of a shock when I was told that I had won the award,” said Joely.
“As a team we have been performing well and thankfully I have been able to be a part of that and hopefully we can keep pushing on in the remaining weeks of the season.
“It is great to get recognised and great to get this award.
“I have felt good about my own performances and have been playing well over the last while.
“We maybe didn’t start the season as well as we wanted to as a team or as well as I wanted to personally.
“I have definitely grown into the league as the season has gone on and I think I have done well in creating chances for our forward players and just being a provider for them.”
Joely has had to perform at the top of her game just to hold down a place in the Glentoran Women team, particularly after Chloe McCarron joined mid-season to join fellow internationals Nadene Caldwell and Samantha Kelly in an already quality-packed midfield department.
“There are quite a few internationals at the club and you know going into training that you are going to be fighting for your place and it makes it really good and it’s really competitive.
“It’s a challenge, but it is one that I embrace and I think one that everybody in the team embraces and it makes us better individually and as a collective.”
The Glens had been awaiting their Women’s Champions League return with eager anticipation since winning the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership last December.
When it came to the moment Joely in particular rose to the occasion, not just scoring that spectacular goal against Cluj, she was also a whisker away from netting a crucial equaliser against Servette.
“The European games were great. It was a really big experience for myself because I had never played in Europe before and to play against opposition of that high a standard – both teams we played are full-time professionals,” she said.
“The coaching staff made it really clear what our plan was and what each of our responsibilities were. I think personally I carried out my responsibilities the way I was told to and it was the same across the team – everybody did their jobs.
“We had a good performance in the first game and in the second game we got our rewards because we played well enough.”
Now the attention for Joely and her Glentoran Women team mates turns to their final four matches of the season, with two league games to go in their quest to retain the Danske Bank Premiership title as well as the County Antrim Cup and Irish Cup finals, both against Crusaders Strikers.
“We have four absolutely massive games,” said Joely.
“We play Cliftonville first and that is the one everyone will be looking towards and it’s one that we have been looking forward to for a long time.
“We will go out with a plan and hopefully we can get wins in all of them.”
Cliftonville's Kelsie Burrows and Amy McGivern of Crusaders Strikers placed second and third respectively.