We are disappointed to see Leontia leave Scotland to return home after a long 4 months for her, waiting on the green light which never came due to errors at SFA Registrations department. It is very frustrating when clubs such as ours with voluntary staff all doing a very good job in making sure the correct paperwork is submitted on time to the relevant bodies however this was not followed up.
Our request was made on the 10th December ahead of the transfer window but not processed even after many attempts to chase this up with Sandy Bryson Head of SFA Registrations department at the time, including resending relevant copies of documents. A request was then made by SFA for special dispensation on the transfer given all clubs and associations were in support of this however with no success.
We have since been informed of an oversight by SFA/SWF in that all SWPL clubs did not have access to the TMS (Transfer Matching System) to allow players to transfer freely from FIFA member Associations, in this case was IFA to SFA.
Leontia arrived after we had the green light to return to football in March having been told her case was being dealt with and just waiting on the confirmation. At this point we could have been told it wasn’t going to happen as the window had closed but were led to believe as she was an amateur player then this window didn’t apply, however not the case as Leontia required International Clearance. The club have progressed this matter personally with FIFA to see what needed to be done by SFA to progress her application through the system, having the support of SWF, and all 7 SWPL clubs, this support was much appreciated.
It seemed the only way to resolve the error made by SFA was to revert the status of the league to amateur, but this has not been agreed due to other factors involved. We therefore say farewell to Leontia while we continue to follow up the appeal process taking this as far as we can for her. We do hope we may see her return for the new season given we can perhaps have better success with the process for a second time, giving her the chance to gain the experience she is desperate to have within SWPL1.
We wish her well as she returns to Ireland and to see her part of the squad in the future.