THERE’S certainly no way Republic of Ireland forward Rianna Jarrett is
feeling down or sorry for herself after failing to have her contract
renewed with FA Women’s Super League (WSL) side Brighton and Hove
The Wexford native along with several other teammates received the
disappointing news at the end of a season that saw Brighton finish in
sixth position out of 12 teams in England’s top women’s league.
By JOHN HUDSON
Jarrett was in a very positive mood as along with the promising
Norwich City defender Andrew Omobamidele they helped to launch the
hugely popular programme which will see the INTERSPORT Elverys FAI
Summer Soccer Schools return to clubs across Ireland in July and
The INTERSPORT Elverys FAI Summer Soccer Schools cater for boys and
girls aged 6 to 14 in a fun and inclusive environment, with training
provided by FAI accredited and Garda vetted coaches.
The 26-year joined the Seagulls last year after almost a decade with
Wexford Youths but struggled to find game time and form after grabbing
two goals on her debut against Crystal Palace and she was one of nine
players released recently.
“To be honest, I felt it was something that was coming. Obviously, I
haven’t played too much since the turn of the year. I had a good talk
with manager Hope (Powell) and we were open and honest in our
“We both feel that I need to be playing and game time is what is
important for me at the minute. Unfortunately, she couldn’t promise
that and I’d never ask her to promise that. We had an open and honest
conversation. It wasn’t really a surprise.”
The season spent at Brighton was Jarrett’s first in a full-time
operation and one that she describes as a real “learning curve”, in a
league that she regards as the best league in the world right now.
“I think they didn’t see the best of me. I feel I did have good
opportunities in the first half of the season. But overall, it was a
good experience, a fantastic club to be involved in. The backing from
the men’s side towards the women’s side you couldn’t ask for anything
“The group of girls, the team at the time, the core group of girls
were fantastic. It was kind of like a home away from home, all the
uncertainty over Covid and not being able to travel home, the
restrictions. It was just a great group to be around.
“It was a short stint, but filled with some great memories and
important lessons learned.”
Jarrett never had a problem travelling abroad to fulfil her dreams and
in 2014 she obtained a scholarship to the University of Tennessee
where she played in college soccer for their UT Martin Skyhawks side.
The following year a serious knee injury forced her to quit the US and
return home and continue her studies at IT Carlow where she later
obtained her degree and enjoyed great success with Wexford Youths in
the Women’s National League and FAI Cup while lining out for the
Republic of Ireland on14 occasions.
Jarrett’s twin focus now is on finding a new club and also on the
Republic of Ireland’s approaching double-header against Iceland.
“I’m open minded about travelling away but I want to find a team
that’s a good fix for me and can challenge me. I’ll be taking advice
and then make an educated decision.
“Just because it hasn’t worked out for me at Brighton it doesn’t mean
it can’t work out for me somewhere else.”