Thu | Feb 25, 2021

Reggae Girl Swaby signs for Rangers

Published:Monday | January 18, 2021 | 12:06 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Jamaicas Chantelle Swaby (left) is challenged by Brazil’s Formiga Maciel Mota during their FIFA Women’s World Cup match at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France, on Sunday, June 9, 2019.
Jamaicas Chantelle Swaby (left) is challenged by Brazil’s Formiga Maciel Mota during their FIFA Women’s World Cup match at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France, on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

After a difficult start to her professional career in 2020, national defender Chantelle Swaby is heading to Europe.

The 22-year-old centre back has signed a short-term deal with Scottish club Rangers until the end of the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) season.

The move comes after a debut professional campaign in the United States that was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Swaby was selected by Sky Blue FC in the fourth round of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft last year but did not make an appearance in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup tournament, or the NWSL Fall Series.

VERY GOOD OPPORTUNITY

Swaby said that the decision to join the league leaders was an opportunity that she could not turn down.

“It feels great to be here,” she told Rangers TV. “As soon as I got the call from the coaches, I kind of just knew. Right as soon as they called me and expressed how interested they were in me, it definitely was something that I kind of put first on my plate.

“It was something that I honestly was really excited to even hear about, and I kind of knew that once I got the call and I saw the video on how they showed their interest in me. It kind of just, I guess, flipped a switch, really, for me.”

Swaby said that the family atmosphere and environment at Rangers also played a role in her decision.

“It’s very welcoming,” she said. “I’m really excited I chose a club that has such a family-oriented team, and that’s something that I’ve always kind of really just gravitated towards and always appreciated.

“When I’m away from home, I want to be able to still feel I’m around my family members, and that’s something that I’m really interested in — building a bond with these other girls on the team and the coaches.”

Head coach Malky Thomson says that her World Cup experience will be a valuable asset to the team.

“We are really excited to have Chantelle join up with the squad,” he said. “She is an enthusiastic and hard-working young player who brings fantastic experience from the 2019 Word Cup. She will be a valuable addition to our squad as we look to continue on our strong start to the SWPL season.”

Swaby will have to wait to make her club debut as league fixtures have been cancelled for three weeks because of the escalating cases of COVID-19 in Scotland.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com