By Abi Curran
Durham Women have added to their January transfer window with the signing of Rio Hardy from Coventry United for an undisclosed fee.
The move comes just one week after her former club, Coventry, were saved from voluntary liquidation by businessman Lewis Taylor.
Hardy is a sought after striker with experience from playing in the UEFA Champion’s League to scoring 61 goals in 49 games for Cypriot side Apollon . With five goals in eleven FA Women’s Championship appearances the 25-year-old promises to be a dangerous threat up front for the Wildcats.
Hardy returns to her northern roots in Durham Women. Born in Cumbria, she spent her formative years with Blackburn Rovers before heading to America to study at the University of South Alabama.
From America, the Cumbrian signed for Grindavik in Iceland before heading to Cyprus with Apollon.
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.”
The striker is the second signing of the transfer window, an addition to Irish goalkeeper Naoisha McAloon.
Manager Lee Sanders added to Hardy’s comments, “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.”
Durham Women face Crystal Palace at Maiden Castle at 12pm on Sunday 16th January.
Image: Durham Women FC