'It is a dream': Glentoran star Demi Vance signs for Rangers and sets top target
Glentoran's Demi Vance has set her targets high after signing for her childhood club Rangers.
The Northern Ireland international says it is a 'dream' to join the Glasgow club on an 18-month deal.
Vance's signing is part of what Gers chairman Dave King recently promised would be a 'massive overhaul' of the playing squad ahead of the 2020 campaign.
Since the appointment of former Liverpool player Gregory Vignal as head coach during the summer, the outgoing chairman has vowed to prioritise the previously 'ignored' women's team in a bid to land a first senior title.
Glasgow City won their 13th consecutive Premier League in the season that finished last month, while the Gers ended up down in fourth.
However, the club Rangers are now hoping to be the ones to put an end to their city rivals' run and it's a vision that Vance is fully on board with.
“First and foremost we want to win the league," she said in her first interview with the Rangers website. "I think that is what we are all striving for which is good because I think everyone has the same goal. We want to get to Champions League football.
“Obviously it is going to be a tough season ahead but I think with Greg’s ideas we can really get there and Champions League football is where everyone wants to play.”
Scotland recently lost a Champions League place, meaning only Premier League winners City have qualified for the 20/21 tournament but under new proposals to expand the continental competition, a runners-up place next year could be enough to see the Gers fulfil their European ambition.
Vance has plenty of the trophy-winning experience that Rangers require, having won league titles and a plethora of cups with Glentoran.
Now 28, the midfielder told the Belfast Telegraph earlier this year that she feared her chance of a move across the water had gone after she spent a four-year spell in Australia.
Now, however, she has been rewarded for a 2019 season that saw her crowned Premiership Women's Player of the Year by the Northern Irish Football League.
“It has always been a dream of mine, obviously to play professional football as well, but to start with Rangers I couldn’t think of a better club," she continued. "I have been a Rangers fan since I have been a kid so it is a dream.
“I think it will be a bit surreal. Playing with my friends in the street when I was younger I always used to wear Rangers kit, so to be playing professionally at the club is a dream.”
Vance helped Glentoran lift the Irish Cup, the League Cup and the County Antrim Cup last term, scoring both goals in the 2-0 League Cup final victory over Sion Swifts.
She netted eight goals during the season and was influential with a flurry of assists in a string of impressive performances.
“This year I really enjoyed my football and I was able to relax," she said. "I found even more love for the game and hopefully I can continue that on.
“I’m pretty calm, I am a direct player and I like to get on the ball and I like to try and take players on and attack.
“I think in the last few years I have matured as a player, I think I can be quite versatile and I have played a few positions so hopefully I can bring that experience into Rangers.”
The new campaign gets under way in February with Vance's potential debut at home to Hearts on February 23.
"Demi is an excellent addition to this new look squad we are building and sets a brilliant precedent of the standard of player we are going to be bringing to the club in the coming months," said Rangers Women’s and Girls’ Football Manager, Amy McDonald.
“Demi is an established international, who is in the prime of her career and brings bags of experience and talent.
“As a Rangers fan all her life she will bring true passion to the squad and a real understanding of what it means to play for the club.”
Vance follows in the footsteps of four Linfield players who moved across the water earlier this year.
Linfield's Megan Bell joined Championship challengers Durham, while Lauren Perry, Louise McDaniel and Kelsie Burrows all signed for fellow second-tier side Blackburn Rovers.
Belfast Telegraph Digital