Happy birthday to North Wales women’s football star Hannah Keryakoplis

LLANELLI, WALES - Monday, August 19, 2013: Wales' Hannah Keryakoplis in action against Denmark during the opening Group A match of the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship Wales 2013 tournament at Parc y Scarlets. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Wales’ Hannah Keryakoplis in action against Denmark during the opening Group A match of the UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship Wales 2013 tournament at Parc y Scarlets. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Hannah Keryakoplis may play her football in the English pyramid but she is very highly regarded in North Wales.

That is because the Welsh international hails from Penyffordd, near, Wrexham, and has done Gogledd Cymru proud with her footballing achievements over a number of seasons.

Currently representing Derby County in the tier 3 FA National League Northern Division, Hannah finished her first season as top goalscorer for the Ewe Rams and had started the present campaign well before fixtures were suspended last November due to coronavirus.

Born on February 1, 1994, Hannah celebrates her 27th birthday today.

She began her career with Penyffordd Juniors boys’ team, growing up and playing football with current Wales international and Derby winger Tom Lawrence.

A former pupil at Castell Alun High School in Hope, near Wrexham, Hannah was with Tranmere Rovers as a youth.

She signed for Liverpool at the age of 16 in 2010 – the year before the Women’s Super League started – and was soon making waves both club-wise and internationally.

The young ace banged in the goals right, left and centre for Liverpool Reserves, netting 33 times in 30 appearances over three seasons, and had chances to shine in the first team, scoring on three occasions in 14 games in the 2012 WSL campaign.

Alongside her flourishing club form, Hannah was absolutely ruthless in front of goal for Wales.

Having scored a bagful for the under-16’s, in 2010 she claimed back-to-back hat-tricks against Greece and the Faroe Islands in the Uefa Under-17 Championships.

She also slammed in four for the under-19’s in a 21-0 demolition of Georgia.

A Wales senior debut was inevitable, and it came in October 2011, aged 17, a 4-1 defeat v France in Euro 2013 qualifying.

There was a major high for Hannah in 2012, when she was named the Football Association of Wales’ Women’s Young Player of the Year.

In July 2013, Hannah signed for FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division newcomers Stoke City, where she pocketed four goals in 10 outings, before in January 2014 returning to FA WSL level when she was snapped up by Birmingham City.

Brum were very strong at this time and Hannah added another glorious notch to her CV when she appeared as a substitute in both legs of City’s Uefa Champions League semi-final against crack Swedish side Tyreso.

The midlands team held the Scandinavians 0-0 at home, but lost 3-0 away.

Hannah currently plays for Derby County. Picture: Derby County Women FC

In July 2015, Hannah returned to Stoke.

A huge favourite with the fans, she put away 58 goals in 84 appearances for the team over four seasons, including 26 in 24 starts in 2018-19.

Last season Hannah decided it was time for a change, so joined Derby where she soon became a hit.

It has been a while since Hannah’s last Wales appearance, but she can feel totally proud of the fact she has won 20 full caps, scoring three times.

Happy birthday Hannah!

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