National League striker Emma Doherty agrees long-term deal at Sligo Rovers through Atlantic Technological University scholarship

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Women’s National League striker, Emma Doherty has agreed a long-term deal at Sligo Rovers through a scholarship with Atlantic Technological University.  The newly formed university teamed up with Sligo Rovers to sign the seventeen-year-old forward.

Each year, the university offers a limited number of Sligo Rovers players a fee-waiver scholarship which is matched by the club with support to the player throughout the seasons they are studying. Following the establishment of the Senior Women’s team at Sligo Rovers in September 2021, this is the first year the university will offer scholarships to both Senior Women’s and Senior Men’s players.

Doherty joined The Bit O’ Red last January ahead of our inaugural Senior Women’s season competing in The SSE Airtricity Women’s National League.

The young striker has impressed throughout the season so far scoring nine goals in our opening 21 games.

ATU is one of Ireland’s largest multi-campus universities with campuses across Sligo, Donegal, Mayo and Galway. The new university is built on the foundations of over 50 years in higher education and offers academic excellence and the opportunity to participate in sport at a national level.

The Donegal native completed her Leaving Certificate in June and will commence studying an honours degree in Health Science and Physical Activity at ATU Sligo as part of the club’s long-standing partnership with Atlantic TU.

Bit O’ Red Women’s Manager Steve Feeney:

‘’Emma has been a fantastic player for us so far this season. She is a real threat for defences in the league and she has shown that so far, scoring a goal almost every other game.

‘’The partnership the club have with ATU Sligo is a real help in us attracting top level players here as they can gain a high level qualification while also playing at a high level with us on the national stage.

‘’I know Emma is keen to do well both on the field and at university. I feel this is a perfect match and one which will grow and develop over the coming seasons’’.

Doherty will now be part of ATU Sligo’s Senior Women’s team who will compete in the Third Level Colleges League and Cups throughout the academic year.

President of Atlantic TU, Dr Orla Flynn commented

“ATU is pleased to support Sligo Rovers, as the club seeks to grow and retain talent within our region. This partnership ensures families can be confident that their sons and daughters can not only further their sporting ambitions, but also achieve academically by attending the university.

Our Schools Liaison team work closely with sports partners, ensuring our talented students can avail of the breadth of opportunities available on their doorstep. Our communities nurture talent at a young age, and we at ATU continue to support players like Emma as they grow and progress as young adults. Sligo Rovers are also to be commended for their tangible commitment to women’s sport, and on behalf of everyone in ATU I wish Emma every success with Sligo Rovers.”

FAI football facilitator at ATU Sligo, Colm Jinks, is delighted with the new addition to the Women’s club at the university:

‘’The partnership works for everyone – It is great to have a player of Emma’s ability here with us, not only at ATU Sligo but to continue their development at Sligo Rovers.

‘’The Senior Women’s team have done so well this year in their first ever season competing in The Women’s National League and Emma has been a big part of that.

‘’This shows that young girls coming through the club’s academy system will be given an opportunity at senior level and may also enhance their skills by gaining an excellent education at the same time’’.