Clarke signs soccer deal with Linfield

Armagh and Crossmaglen Ladies star Alex Clarke has signed a soccer deal with Linfield FC Women for the upcoming season.

Clarke has had a horrible couple of years with injury and has missed out on a lot of inter-county action over the past two years.

The same injury to both knees, one year apart, has kept the Crossmaglen sharpshooter sidelined recently.

Clarke, sister of current Crossmaglen captain and former Armagh forward Jamie, fractured her left patella in 2022 and suffered the same fate on her right knee in 2023.

Photo Credit: Brendan Monaghan

Clarke missed out as Armagh completed the three-in-a-row of Ulster crowns in 2022, having played her part in the previous two season.

That kept the 23-year-old out as the Orchard County finally earned promotion to the top tier this season, overcoming Laois in the league final at Croke Park.

Score-getter

Clarke featured in all four of Armagh’s opening round league games in 2023, hitting 1-3. She claimed the goal in a round three victory over Monaghan.

Shane McCormack’s ladies failed to hold onto their provincial crown however, losing to rivals Donegal in the Ulster final.

Clarke missed out on most of the 2022 season but did make two substitute appearances against Meath and Kerry in the championship.

Photo Credit: Brendan Monaghan

Her last full season in the orange and white was in 2021 when she featured in all ten of Armagh’s games.

Only Aimee Mackin and Kelly Mallon scored more than Clarke, who finished with 3-11, throughout that season.

Speaking to Linfield TV, Clarke said: “I’m looking forward to it, it’s a great opportunity. Linfield is a big club and obviously I’ve been following them over the last couple of years.

“When I played with Newry City in my younger days, they were the team, so it’s nice to join them and put on the blue jersey.”

It’s unlikely that Clarke will feature for Armagh in 2024 and she will be a major loss to new manager Greg McGonigle.