It has been a good couple of weeks for Jessie Stapleton.
The 18-year-old defender made the move to east London from Shelbourne, signing her first professional contract, which was announced at the end of July.
After picking up an injury in pre-season, Stapleton has been patient, working her way back to full fitness ready to be in contention for selection. She was given that opportunity against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday 22 November in the Continental Tyres League Cup.
Stapleton started the tie against the Seagulls, playing 60 minutes in the defeat. Whilst it was not the result that she and the team wanted, the defender was pleased to be out in Claret & Blue for the first time.
“It was an unbelievable moment for me to make my debut for the Club," she told whufc.com. "It’s something I’ve been working towards for a long time, and it was an amazing and proud milestone for me and my family.
“I’ve had to wait a little bit longer than I thought because of the injury that I picked up in pre-season, but that’s allowed me to settle in really well.
“Everyone was around me, staff and players, motivating me through that period to make sure that I got myself back and in really good shape. The Brighton game was the perfect opportunity for me and I’m hoping that more will come my way throughout the season.”
Over four months since she signed with the Club, Stapleton feels more than part of a very supportive group of players and staff.
“I think with this team, you can just be friends with anyone," she added. "You'll probably see at lunch or whenever you see us in a group, and you can sit and have a conversation with anyone, no matter their nationality or language."
Following on from making her first appearance for the Club, Stapleton then received the call from Republic of Ireland boss Eileen Gleeson for their two upcoming UEFA Women’s Nations League fixtures.
Republic of Ireland will play Hungary and Northern Ireland on Friday 1 December and Tuesday 5 December respectively.
Whilst The Girls in Green have already topped Group B1 after winning all four of their matches so far, Stapleton hopes that be able to make an impact on her return to the international fold.
“I’m delighted to get another senior call-up. It’s been a while since I was with them, before the World Cup, so it’ll be nice to be back with the squad and catch up with some of the girls.
“It’s a good opportunity for me. We’ve got a new management team now, so I’m very excited to get over there and show what I can do.
“I think it’s a good time to go back into the squad. The girls have done well to win all four of their games and gain promotion from our group, so the pressure is off going into the final two matches.
"I’m hoping to head over there and get some game time and make a contribution.”