Glentoran Women forward Kelly Bailie


Glentoran stalwart Kelly Baillie has admitted she is considering calling time on her glittering career but ‘couldn’t have asked for such a successful’ stint.

The 39-year-old scooped the 30th trophy of her career when the Glens lifted the Irish Cup - edging out fierce rivals Linfield 1-0 at Windsor Park.

Baillie is in her 23rd season with the club and has hit eight goals this campaign, while she collected the club's Player of the Month award for April

“At one stage it's all going to have to come to an end but if it's coming to an end with 30 trophies, I couldn't have asked for such a successful career,” Baillie (who has even flown home to represent the Glens when undergoing a four-year scholarship in the United States) said.

“If I look back at football, when I first started, I never thought this would be possible. The girls are brilliant and they have been for the last number of years. It's well within what they deserve as well and I'm just happy for everybody although it is extra special to me.

“Off the back of last year, when we won it and it was very dramatic, we knew it was going to be very tough. We knew we would have to dig in. Part of me wondered, if this is going to be the final year is it going to end badly?

“But the girls worked so hard once again. You always have to grind it out against Linfield but the hard work came out above anything else on the pitch. I'm just glad for all the girls.”

Bailie, whose teammates will be keen for her to stay on next season, gave special praise to those involved with the club.

“At the start of my career, I was just glad to be playing football to be honest,” she added.

“After a couple of years, we won our first trophy and then you get a hunger for it. To be fair Cheryl (Lamont) and Maura (Muldoon) built the club from the bottom up and it's continued on. It's been just brilliant for the 23 years that I've been involved.

“I think it's the core of the club is all about dedication, hard work and commitment. When you look at it, hard work comes first. We're always attracting players that are talented but without the hard work, success wouldn't be possible and that speaks volumes of the club that has been built on those morals.”

Bailie, who started out as a 16-year-old with Belfast United who then became Glentoran Women, has won eight Irish Cups at the club but has not landed the Premiership title in five years. Perhaps the opportunity of another title tilt next year may persuade her to stay on.

Tags:  Glentoran Womens FC