Ruesha Littlejohn

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Ruesha Littlejohn
Ruesha Littlejohn in San Jose.jpg
Playing for Ireland in May 2015
Personal information
Full name Ruesha Littlejohn
Date of birth (1990-07-03) 3 July 1990 (age 26)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Celtic
Number 22
Youth career
Clydebank Girls
Baillieston Girls
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Arsenal North
2007–2009 Glasgow City
2010 Arsenal 1 (0)
2010 Rangers (loan)
2010–2011 Glasgow City
2011–2012 Liverpool 13 (2)
2011 Celtic (loan) 2 (1)
2012–2013 Glasgow City 26 (14)
2014 IL Sandviken 22 (19)
2015 Celtic
2016 Glasgow City
2016– Celtic
National team
2007–2008 Scotland U19[1] 15 (12)
2012– Ireland 29 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:59, 22 October 2015 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18:59, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Ruesha Littlejohn (born 3 July 1990) is a football striker who plays for Celtic of the Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL). At club level she previously had four spells with Glasgow City and short interludes in Norway with First Division club IL Sandviken and in England with Arsenal and Liverpool. Littlejohn chose to represent Republic of Ireland at senior international level despite having represented Scotland at junior level.

Club career[edit]

Glasgow-born Littlejohn played youth football with Clydebank and Baillieston girls before joining Arsenal North Ladies. She signed for Glasgow City in January 2007 and won four successive titles with the club. In January 2010 Littlejohn signed for English champions Arsenal and made an immediate debut in the Gunners' 2–1 home win over Chelsea.[2] Shortly afterwards Tony Gervaise, who had also been Littlejohn's coach in Scotland's youth national teams, stood down as Arsenal manager. With Littlejohn then out of favour she returned to Scotland on loan with Rangers, where she featured in the first women's match to be staged at Ibrox Stadium.[3]

Ruesha Littlejohn.jpg

Littlejohn then returned to Glasgow City. She hit seven goals in the final game of the season against Inverness, as City secured another Premier League title.[4]

Along with Megan Sneddon and Suzanne Lappin, Littlejohn signed for Liverpool Ladies ahead of the 2011 FA WSL season. The Scottish trio made their Liverpool bow in a friendly win over Hibernian Ladies.[5] On her competitive debut against Charlton Athletic in the FA Women's Cup, Littlejohn marked the occasion by scoring a hat-trick.[6] She also fired a last-minute goal as Liverpool held rivals Everton 3–3 in the opening match of the WSL campaign.[7] During the mid-season break Littlejohn and Lappin went back to Scotland, this time with Celtic, making their debuts against Rangers.[8]

In May 2012 the Football Association (FA) gave Littlejohn a six-match ban and charged her £500 costs for comments made on Twitter.[9] During the 2012 FA WSL mid-season break, Littlejohn returned to Glasgow City: "It is great to be back at City again. I know the club so well. I have been here since I turned 16 years old and City is like my home, as I always seem to come back here."[10]

In March 2014 Littlejohn signed for the Norwegian First Division club IL Sandviken, based in Bergen.[11] By August she had scored 11 goals in 13 games to top the goalscorer's chart.[12] She finished the season as the league's joint-top goalscorer with 19 goals from 22 matches as Sandviken were promoted to the Toppserien as champions.[13]

Littlejohn was called into the Ireland squad in February 2015, listed as a free agent. After a year with Celtic in 2015, Littlejohn returned to Glasgow City for her fourth spell with the club in January 2016.[14] She departed during the mid-season break,[15] and was back in Celtic colours for the second part of the campaign.

International career[edit]

Littlejohn represented Scotland at Under–15 and Under–17 level. At the Under–19 age group, Littlejohn was part of the side which qualified for the 2008 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship in France. She scored Scotland's goal in a 3–1 defeat to England at the final tournament group stage. According to the Scottish Football Association (SFA) website, Littlejohn scored 12 goals in her 15 appearances for Scotland's Under–19s.

Scotland's senior national team coach Anna Signeul excluded Littlejohn due to personal differences: "Em, well, the senior manager wasn’t a fan of mine. I think she thought I had too much carry on, a little personality, and she wasn’t really into that."[16]

In February 2012 Littlejohn received her first call–up to the senior Republic of Ireland squad, for the 2012 Algarve Cup.[17] She made her debut with the Irish national team against Hungary at the final game of the Algarve Cup on 7 March 2012. Ireland won 2–1 to avoid a last place finish.[18]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Ireland's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
1 6 March 2013 Tasos Markou, Paralimni  Northern Ireland 5–1 2013 Cyprus Cup 1
2 12 March 2014 GSP Stadium, Nicosia  Canada 1–2 2014 Cyprus Cup 1
3 4 March 2015 Veli Jože, Poreč  Hungary 1–1 2015 Istria Cup 1
4 14 May 2015 Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, Florida  Haiti 1–0 Friendly 1
5 9 March 2016 Tasos Markou, Paralimni  Finland 2–0 2016 Cyprus Cup 1
6 7 April 2016 Stadion pod Malim brdom, Petrovac  Montenegro 5–0 2017 UEFA Women's Championship Qual. 1

Personal life[edit]

Ruesha's twin sister Shebahn is a travel reporter on 102.5 Clyde 1 radio. The family has a Northern Irish background and grew up in Old Drumchapel.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ruesha Littlejohn – Women's U19 Squad". The Scottish FA. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ruesha Littlejohn". Arsenal.com. 6 February 2012. Archived from the original on 6 February 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Ladies Snatch Late Point". Rangers Football Club. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Glasgow City finish with victory". Women's Soccer Scene. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Liverpool give Scots trio debuts". She Kicks. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Leighton, Tony (26 March 2011). "Lady in Red looks toward FA Women's Cup Final". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Hudson, Louise (15 April 2011). "FA WSL: A derby thriller on Merseyside". Sports Sister. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  8. ^ Gillian Campbell (24 May 2011). "Celtic women triumph in derby clash". Celtic FC. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Littlejohn suspended for six games". TheFA.com. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Glasgow City welcome the return of Ruesha Littlejohn". Glasgow City FC. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  11. ^ Irish player to Sandviken
  12. ^ Karlsen, Thomas (18 August 2014). "Skotte til topps". Fotballmagasinet.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Karlsen, Thomas (30 October 2014). "Delt toppscorertittel" (in Norwegian). fotballmagasinet.no. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Ruesha Littlejohn: Glasgow City re-sign Ireland striker". BBC Sport. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  15. ^ Campbell, Alan (30 July 2016). "Football: SWPL title up for grabs with focus back on league". The National (Scotland). Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  16. ^ O'Malley, Carl (13 November 2014). "Ruesha Littlejohn has no regrets about defection". Irish Times. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Irish women depart for Algarve Cup in Portugal". Sports News Ireland. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "Ireland Women complete Algarve Cup with victory". Football Association of Ireland. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  19. ^ Fotheringham, Ann (1 March 2012). "WOMEN’S 10K: Countdown To The Big Run". Glasgow Evening Times. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 

External links[edit]