Aberdeen Women have made their first signing ahead of the step up to SWPL1 in the new season – signing Donna Paterson from Forfar Farmington.
The 22-year-old was top-flight rivals’ Forfar’s top scorer last term from central midfield with eight counters and can also play at centre-half.
On securing the Scotland youth international, who is a Dons supporter, and previously played for Aberdeen Ladies as well as giants Glasgow City, boss Emma Hunter said: “Donna is definitely a player we have wanted to bring to Aberdeen for quite some time, but for me it was all about timing for her as a player and us as a club.
“She is a very experienced player and is highly regarded within the women’s game, and, with us now looking to compete in the SWPL1, I feel she will be a great addition to our squad.
“She is a strong centre-back and particularly good in the air, so will give us a presence defensively and will also be a real threat in the opposition’s box.
“I always talk about bringing the right people to the club who live and breathe our values and are able to fit our playing philosophy and Donna will definitely provide that.”
Paterson said it “means a lot” to join a resurgent Aberdeen Women’s side who have secure back-to-back promotions since becoming part of the Pittodrie club, explaining: “I have been playing every weekend since I was little, so it has made it difficult to get to all the games, but my dad, my brother and I used to try and get in to Pittodrie when we could. It means a lot to be part of the club.
“I am from Aberchirder and started playing football when I was five. My brother used to play so I followed in his footsteps.
“I got involved with the local primary school team before playing for Deveronvale Girls. I played in Banff until I was about 15, then moved to Buchan Ladies for a season. I then jumped to Aberdeen Ladies for three or four years before moving to Glasgow City. The past number of campaigns have seen me play for Forfar Farmington.
“The three years I had at Forfar, there were some highs and some lows obviously as we were fighting in the bottom half of the table, but it was a great experience playing in the top league with Forfar and I am proud to have played my part in keep them there.
“I am really excited to be joining Aberdeen.
“It looks like they are a great team, and I am looking forward to being part of the journey that they are on. I hope my experience can help the group.
“I know quite a few of the girls such as Kelly Forrest and Lauren Campbell from playing with them during my spell with Aberdeen Ladies so I know how good they are.”
Paterson is under no illusions the Dons – who start their league campaign against Celtic at the Balmoral Stadium – have a challenge on their hands against full-time outfits like the Hoops, Rangers and Glasgow City in the coming season, but added: “You do notice the difference of the sides that have gone professional.
“There are a lot of class players in the league, so it will be tough, but it is a challenge I am really looking forward to with Aberdeen and one I am sure all my new team-mates will relish.”