Durham Women are delighted to confirm the signing of striker Rio Hardy.
The 25-year-old joins the Wildcats from Coventry United for an undisclosed fee, and becomes the club’s second signing of the winter transfer window.
Born in Cumbria, Hardy was a prolific scorer in her formative years at Blackburn Rovers before heading to America to study at the University of South Alabama.
Her fine form Stateside brought interest from across Europe, and the forward then headed to Icelandic side Grindavik.
Her next stop was Cyprus to join Apollon and there, Hardy played in the UEFA Champions League and continued her fine form – scoring 61 times in just 49 games – before returning to England with Coventry in the summer.
And now, having scored seven times in all competitions already this term, the striker has made the move to Maiden Castle.
Speaking after putting pen to paper on her deal at Durham, Hardy said: “It’s great to finally be here.
“I’ve met all the girls and they’ve all been so welcoming, so I can’t wait to get started.
“Durham are always there or thereabouts at the top of the league, and that was something I was looking for.
“It’s a good fit for what I want to do and what the club wants to do.”
Lee Sanders added: “I’d like to welcome Rio to Durham on behalf of all the staff at the club.
”I’m delighted that we’ve been able to sign a player that we’ve looked at for a number of years now.
“She’s a Northern girl and understands the values that we have at the football club, and it’s an area that we identified that we do need to improve on.
“Hopefully she’ll come in and help to improve that through assisting and scoring.”