Lisburn Ladies defender Lauren Redpath was always destined to be involved in a sporting career and the PE teacher has enjoyed a sterling stint in the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership.
Having previously won the division with Newry City and featured for Cliftonville Ladies, the defender has recently been captaining Lisburn Ladies in their first stint in the top-flight.
Lauren’s brother Jake, also previously of Newry, is on the books of Premier Intermediate League side Dollingstown and dad Gary – formerly of Newry’s coaching staff – is now coaching at Banbridge Town.
Lauren explains: “Football has always been a really important part of my life, which was a result of my dad and my granda!
“I was always a tomboy in school – I was always playing football against boys when I had the opportunity and any sport that was going, I was involved in – initially it was netball and hockey.
“Being back teaching PE is another reflection of that and how big a part sport and fitness has played in my life.
“My entire family are extremely sporty and it was natural for me to enjoy that and then share that with younger kids – hopefully I can pass my passion onto them!”
The 29-year-old is one of the more experienced players in the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership, and has been a part of the league across its transformation in recent years.
“The changes and improvement over the course of my career have been incredible,” she added. “The standard is so much higher.
“From the promotion of the league away from the pitch to the quality of the players who are coming through and the level of coaching with the technology available, it’s a world apart.
“The entire league has grown so much in all of the aspects with every club producing their own players and the future is really bright.”
Redpath returned to Northern Ireland to join Lisburn Ladies after a spell working in Scotland, where she represented Championship side Ayr United.
Lisburn sit in a respectable sixth position and despite the significant step-up from Championship level, have proved to be a competitive addition to the top-flight with the promise of more to come.
“The team and the club have taken a little bit of time to fully adjust to the league, to know the full demands of the division,” Redpath explained.
“It takes time to understand the other teams and that gives you experience of what to expect each week, and I think after the first full round of fixtures that has helped us a lot.
“You can see our defensive numbers have really improved the past few games and a lot of that is down to the training sessions – there is a focus on our opponent, what we know about them and how we can combat that.
“All the girls know what they need to do when they go out onto the pitch and it is proving to be a big help.
“There is a really good spirit and attitude about the club, right from the manager and coaching staff through to the players and the junior teams – we are growing into being a Premiership club.”
Lisburn Ladies are back in league action on 21 September when they play travel to Cliftonville Ladies at Solitude