AFTER A LENGTHY absence, Ruesha Littlejohn marked her return to the Ireland squad with a superb Player-of-the-Match performance against Greece in last night’s crucial Euro 2021 qualifying win.
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Glasgow-born Littlejohn was catapulted into the starting XI having not been involved in the set-up since 2018, and made her 55th appearance in the green jersey at Tallaght Stadium.
This one was perhaps one of the most memorable ones for the 29-year-old, who recently signed for Women’s Super League [WSL] side West Ham.
“It was nice to come back in,” Littlejohn smiled afterwards. “I’m thankful to Vera [Pauw] and Eileen [Gleeson] for opening up the door and letting me back in.
“Absolutely,” she added when asked if her recent move to the Hammers helped. “I mean I’m playing with players that I’m having to get up to their level and compete against. It’s great for me, it’s raised my game so it’s good to be full-time training.”
The former Arsenal, Celtic and Liverpool attacker signed for the Hammers in January after a successful trial period. She had been a free agent since departing Championship outfit London Bees at the end of last season, and is now eager to make the most of her chance at West Ham, where she has signed on until the end of this season.
There, she plays alongside fellow Ireland duo Leanne Kiernan — who missed last night’s Greek tie through injury — and Courtney Brosnan.
Littlejohn — who represented Scotland at underage level before declaring for Ireland in 2012 — has been impressive for the London side, and carried that form through to last night. She was brilliant throughout the clash that was ultimately decided by Diane Caldwell’s goal on the stroke of half time.