Penyffordd Lions add Wales international and former Liverpool striker to management team

By N Beech

Courtesy of Dave Jones of Grasroots North Wales

Penyffordd Lions can feel rightly proud and excited about the latest addition to their management team.

It is former Wales striker Hannah Keryakoplis, who becomes assistant-manager to new Lions boss Stuart Tunnicliffe.

The 29-year-old is a well-known footballer in North Wales and beyond, having represented her country 20 times at full international level, as well formerly playing for Liverpool, Birmingham City, Stoke City and Derby County.

Hannah hails from Penyffordd herself, so it is extra special for the village club to get a famous local girl on board.

It is also brilliant to see a North Wales club appoint a female to assist with managing a men’s team.

It has not happened too often, but definitely should do, and seeing Hannah take on this new role is sure to inspire other women in the area to chase a similar path.

Hannah began her career with Penyffordd Juniors boys’ team, growing up and playing football with current Wales international and Rangers 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 later rejoined Stoke City, where she put away 58 goals in 84 appearances over four seasons, including 26 in 24 starts in 2018-19.

She moved to Derby County in 2019-20, where again the goals flowed.

Hannah had scored three goals in 20 full appearances for Wales.

Penyffordd manager Stuart Tunnicliffe said of the new addition: “She will bring a determination, commitment, passion and a wealth of football knowledge to the group. We are delighted to have her on board.”

Lions play in the North East Wales League Premier Division – tier 4 of the Welsh pyramid.

Where next?

Latest photos

Corwen v Mynydd Isa - 17/05/2024
42 photos
Penyffordd v Corwen - 14/05/2024
32 photos
FC Queens Park v Corwen - 04/05/2024
27 photos

North East Wales Football League newsletter

Keep up-to-date with our exclusive email newsletters.