STRIKER Kirsty Howat says she still can’t get her head around the fact she is a professional footballer at Rangers.
The 23-year-old, who grew up supporting the Light Blues, has put her teaching career on hold to follow her dream to become a full-time footballer.
Rangers announced in July that Howat had signed a pre-contract to join the club at the next transfer window from Glasgow City.
Top scorer in the SWPL in 2019 with 24 goals, Kirsty kicked off her Rangers career with four goals in two games as a trialist before the winter break.
Prior to lockdown, Kirsty sat down with RangersTV to share her delight at signing for her childhood club. She said: “I am absolutely delighted, I have supported Rangers all my life and I am at Ibrox just about every weekend watching the first team so for myself and my family it is such a proud moment.
To be a professional footballer is a dream come true but to do it here at Rangers is amazing and I can't quite get my head round it.
“I have been at uni and I have done a year of PE teaching and for me I really enjoyed that but football has always been my goal and my dream.
“When the opportunity came about I really couldn't turn it down to leave my job and to be full-time at the club.
“It is something I have always wanted to do so I just thought it was the right time in my career to take a step back from my job and to go and fulfil my dream.
“To be able to say I am a full-time footballer at Rangers gives me goosebumps just speaking about it.”
With the facilities and full-time set-up at Rangers, the striker says she is already seeing the benefits on the pitch.
She continued: “It is amazing, the training centre is incredible, the pitches, the facilities.
“We haven’t really been inside the training centre an awful lot because of Coronavirus but the fact that we come and have our kit there and get our lunch after training the full set-up is amazing and it is something I haven't really experienced before - it is incredible.
“I have not been able to just fully concentrate on football before, I've always either had school or uni and then work last year so to be able to just turn all my attention to either training, eating right and recovering is great.
“Being able to focus fully on football is such a massive thing and I can see the impact already of that.
Kirsty is looking forward to working alongside the likes of Lizzie Arnot, Megan Bell, Bala Devi and Zoe Ness to provide an attacking force for the Gers.
She continued: “They have been great already and they help me, we speak to each other, we play off each other and we can use each other's strengths to really be a force going forward.
“I think you saw that in the two games before the winter break. It is great to have that competition and have international players, to be able to train every day with them and really learn from them is great.”
Report: Louise Shaw
Image: Rangers FC