HomeBasketballIreland basketball star Claire Melia makes move to Spanish top flight

Ireland basketball star Claire Melia makes move to Spanish top flight

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Ireland’s Claire Melia. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ireland star Claire Melia will line out in the Spanish top flight next season after signing for the University of Ferrol in Galicia.

The 24-year-old has already enjoyed much success at home, claiming her second Super League title with Killester last season to add to the double achieved with Glanmire in 2022.

The Kildare woman cut short her previous spell abroad, ending a challenging scholarship at St Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania to return to Ireland for a more fruitful period.

She will hope for yet more success in northern Spain after her latest move was announced on the club’s Instagram account last night. New coach Lino Lopez hailed Melia’s “versatility”.

“I think her best attribute is that she understands the game very well and that she is a very good passer,” Lopez said.

“She is capable of generating, but at the same time, assisting her team-mates.

“She comes from a league like the Irish one, which is not a very powerful competition, but she does want to show that she can play in a league at the level of the women’s league here.”

Melia was also named in the Ireland women’s squad due to face Uganda in a friendly series in Germany later this month, having missed the controversial Euros qualifier with Israel in February.

Ireland coach James Weldon also recalled Mimi Clarke to his squad while captain Edel Thornton will miss out on the games on July 21 and 22 in Karlsruhe as she continues her recovery from an ACL injury.

Ireland: Enya Maguire (Unattached), Annalise Murphy (Glanmire), Sorcha Tiernan (Liffey Celtics), Lauryn Homan (Brunell), Kate Hickey (Waterford Wildcats), Mimi Clarke (Killester), Bridget Herlihy (Ensio Lugo, Spain), Áine O’Connor (Liffey Celtics), Claire Melia (Uni Ferrol, Spain), Abigail Rafferty (Ulster University), Amy Dooley, (Glanmire), Alex Mulligan (Ulster University).

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