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Lewis footballer Rachael Johnstone has turned professional, with the announcement today (Monday 20 September) that she’s signed for Celtic senior women’s team.

Celtic FC tweeted at 1.30pm, saying: “Signing your first professional contract for the hoops at just 17 years old – what a moment Rachael Johnstone.

“Another academy graduate goes pro. Well-deserved Rach! Keep an eye out for her first words as a professional on @CelticTV.”

Rachael, of Balallan, has been playing – when Covid permitted – through the academy programme, turning out at just 16 years old for the under-19s in league and international matches.

Among the first to congratulate her (apart from ‘super proud’ parents Rhona and Neil Johnstone) were members of the Lewis and Harris Women’s Football Club, who said: “Fantastic stuff, Rachael, we are all very, very proud of you.

“Your hard work and dedication are a great example of what can be achieved. Geography is not a barrier.”

And Scottish FA development officer Jo Murphy tweeted: “Fantastic news, Rachael, huge congratulations. I know the massive dedication both you and your family have made to get you to this point.

“A role model to all players from island and rural communities. Keep working hard and enjoy every minute.”

Rachael’s first game as a professional is on Sunday (26 September) when she will be hoping for time between the sticks at Penny Cars Stadium against Hibs.

Picture from Celtic WFC.