Donegal's deadliest goalscorer signs professional contract in the Bundesliga
Republic of Ireland international Amber Barrett is turning professional.
The Donegal striker is joining FC Köln on a two-year deal and will link up with the German club in July.
Barrett scored 30 goals for Peamount United this season, including seven hat-tricks, and attracted attention from American colleges but, after finishing her teacher training, will take up the offer in Cologne.
On Monday's episode of PlayXPlay, Barrett revealed the news.
Listen from 10:22.
Having initially joined the Ireland set-up at under-15 level, Barrett juggled international football with Donegal GAA but eventually committed to the one sport under the advice of Colin Bell.
She made her Ireland senior debut against Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualifier and her continuous progression at club level has led to a professional contract.
"Going pro is ideal and recently I've gotten in touch with Cologne FC who are going to take me on a two-year contract," Barrett told PlayXPlay she's going pro now that she's finished her studies.
"I've always believed in education and getting the best out of college that you can. The boys are scouted much younger and some of them end up coming back and it's a lot more difficult than people think. Some people get very homesick.
"The schedule I got from Cologne, it's the equivalent to three weeks training with Peamount in a week."
It's the culmination of hard work, a lot of travelling and even more pure talent.
Barrett had been spinning enough plates and spinning them well but from under-19 to under-21, her Irish international career had slowed up until the decision was made.
"College life took over. Going out took over a wee bit as well and I was trying to balance Peamount and Donegal and it's something I wasn't able to do much longer so I had to pick one over the other," she said.
"It's nearly common knowledge that I met Colin Bell during my exams in 2017. We met in City West for a little chat and he had gone to my game against Kilkenny at the weekend and I think I scored four or five in that game and he said, 'the opposition weren't very strong but one of the hardest things in the game to do is score'.
"He found something in me that he liked but said I wasn't the finished product and said for me to come in, I needed to give it 100 per cent. He told me that the Netherlands girls aren't playing GAA two or three times a week and even said if I wanted to be the best Gaelic player, I can't be playing another sport."
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