Aberdeen Women have announced the signing of Aaliyah-Jay Meach from Dundee United on a deal until the end of the SWPL 1 season.
Meach joins the Dons with an impressive CV, having won the SWF Save of the Year award in 2019, as well as representing Scotland at under-15’s, 16’s, 17’s and 19’s level,
The 18-year-old goalkeeper has trained with Aberdeen this week and will go straight into the squad which travels to Celtic on Sunday.
Speaking to AFC, Meach said: “It was a surprise to have the approach from Aberdeen. I had to take a few days for it to sink in. It was a huge shock, but a nice one.
“I was a bit nervous. I had been at Dundee United for four years so coming to a new team and environment can be difficult, but it was really good. It was a good challenge; really high standards and the players were all lovely.
“I know some of the girls like Eilidh (Shore), Jenna (Penman) and Bailey (Hutchison) from Scotland training camps so that helps. It’s great being involved with the national teams, with the best players and the best coaches.”
👋🏼 Welcome to The Dons, @AaliyahMeach.
🔴 We are delighted to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Aaliyah-Jay Meach on a deal until the end of the season.
— Aberdeen FC Women (@AberdeenWomen) November 19, 2021
In signing for the Dons, Meach has reunited with former Dundee United Women manager Gavin Beith, and is looking forward to the challenge of playing in the top flight.
She added: “Having worked with Gavin and goalie coach Kenny Strachan before , it definitely helped me settle in quicker. Kenny has been my coach since I was eight years old, so we know each other really well.
“I’m excited to be stepping up a league. It will be great to play against the best of the best. I know how competitive the league is and it will be a challenge for both the team and myself but there is real quality in this squad.”
A competitive group of goalkeepers
Meach will compete with Gail Gilmour for the number one jersey, after fellow Dons goalkeeper Anna Blanchard left on loan last week to join SWF Championship North side Montrose.
Aberdeen Women co-boss Beith said of the Reds’ new signing: “AJ brings a lot of experience for a young player and a lot of quality. We’re always looking to add to the group. She is a great person who will fit in to the squad really well.
“It makes our goalkeeping department really competitive, having Gail, Anna, AJ and Annalisa from the U19s. There is a really competitive group of goalkeepers that will push each other on and it will bode well for us in the future.
“Our goalkeeping coach Kenny also knows her really well. He’s looked after her since she was a young keeper, so we’re well aware of her strengths and weaknesses. She ticks all the boxes and I’m looking forward to working with her again.”