Nicola Docherty: Rangers sign Scotland defender from Glasgow City

By Heather DewarBBC Scotland
Nicola Docherty (right) in action for Glasgow City
Nicola Docherty (right) is one of four City players wanted by Rangers

Scotland left-back Nicola Docherty has returned to Rangers from Glasgow City citing the Ibrox club's decision to turn their women's side professional.

The 27-year-old, who has 21 Scotland caps and left Rangers for City in 2011, has signed a two-year contract.

Celtic and Rangers have become Scotland's first full-time pro teams.

"I think that is only going to be better for women's football in Scotland and I hope it keeps progressing," Docherty told Rangers' website.

"I am really excited to be here, it is a huge club and a club I have supported since I was a kid."

Docherty's move was confirmed the morning after City, who are chasing a 14th consecutive league title, began their Scottish Women's Premier League season with a 2-1 defeat by Celtic.

More players could yet leave City for Ibrox, with midfielder Sam Kerr, who earned a Scotland call up for the Pinatar Cup, fellow youth international Kirsty Howat, the former Celtic forward, and Scotland winger Rachel McLauchlan having also been the subject of interest from Gregory Vignal's side.

Howat and McLauchlan were absent along with Docherty from the City squad for Friday's season-opening defeat.

Following Friday's defeat, head coach Scott Booth refused to comment about Rangers' interest but told BBC Scotland: "We've got a couple of injuries, we're looking to potentially bring another couple in, so we're just going to see how things materialise once the window closes.

"It gives us a chance now to take stock and lick our wounds after that one, but we need to pick ourselves back up."

Despite club manager Laura Montgomery confirming there had been interest from Rangers, Kerr, Howatt and McLauchlan remain part of the City set-up and the club insist they are under contract as Sunday's closure of the transfer window looms.

"But there has also been interest from many other teams for our players," she said. "Players sign and commit themselves to a club for a season.

"I don't think football could operate every time a player was a little bit unhappy and was allowed to go.

"If that was the case, anybody who was on the subs' bench would be released on a Monday morning."

Rangers' women's and girls' football manager, Amy McDonald, said bringing Docherty back to "her childhood club" was "always a priority".

"Her acquisition shows that Rangers are attracting top-quality players and how much people want to be a part of what we are building here," she added.

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