Kiwi goalkeeper jumps at Liverpool opening

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 05:00 03/02/2012
Aroon Clansey
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ
AROON CLANSEY: Delighted at the offer to join the women's team at her all-time favourite club.

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Being rebuffed once by a football club with Liverpool's lustre might be enough for some people, but not former Wellington goalkeeper Aroon Clansey.

Clansey, who attended Queen Margaret College, Thorndon, has been back in the city of her birth this week, visiting her family and preparing to fly to England, where she'll play for the Liverpool Ladies in the FA Women's Super League competition.

The 24-year-old had put feelers out to a couple of English clubs, having just been part of Canberra United's unbeaten run to the W-League title in Australia, but none had the allure of Liverpool.

"My dad [Steve] is from there, so it's obviously a huge part of the family as well and it's the team I've supported since I was young," Clansey said.

So she plucked up her courage and got in touch with Liverpool manager Robbie Johnson for a second time.

"I emailed him last season and didn't hear back and I was kind of like, `Oh well'. Then I thought I might as well give it another shot so I emailed him again [two months ago] and he got back to me straight away," said Clansey.

"One of their keepers has done her knee and the other one's left so they actually needed two keepers. It's kind of a good position to be going into."

As a footballer, Clansey sees the one-season deal with Liverpool as a chance to develop her skills and perhaps push past Jenny Bindon as New Zealand's No1 goalkeeper.

Clansey has managed just five caps for the Football Ferns, since making her debut against China in 2006, and is determined to add to that tally.

But the Liverpool fan in her just can't believe where she's going and who'll she'll see.

"The girls [team] do charity events with the men's players as well, so you do get to meet them. So, yeah, hopefully I'll be rubbing shoulders with Pepe Reina and Steven Gerrard," she said.

"It's kind of strange but it's kind of cool at the same time. It's kind of like when you have to fill in those forms and write down your soccer dreams and when it becomes a reality, it can be a bit scary. But I'm sure I'll enjoy it."

Clansey said another, un-named, Football Fern is considering an offer to join Liverpool in the eight-team league. Hayley Moorwood, at Chelsea, is the only other New Zealander with a Women's Super League club.

Arsenal, Birmingham City, Everton, Lincoln, Bristol and Doncaster Rovers are the other teams in the competition.

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