"Unbelievable Feeling" Signing Pro, says Rachel Topliss
Midfielder Rachel Topliss will continue her playing career after signing her first professional contract with Finnish side IK Myran.
Topliss, who graduated from Central Methodist University in May, will be competing in the premier division of women’s football in Finland.
The CMU graduate said that it is an “unbelievable feeling” after fulfilling her dreams of becoming a professional footballer.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling really,” she said. “Playing professional football is all I have ever dreamed about when I was younger.
“I feel proud to have achieved that ambition and thankful for the support I have received along the journey. From my family, to all of the coaches and coaching staff, who have helped me to develop and particularly Coach Dan Schmidlin, who gave me the opportunity to play and study in the USA after being introduced to him by PASS4Soccer.”
The midfielder has flown over to Finland to compete and her new team are based in Kronoby, located in the west part of the country, with a population of just over 6,500.
IK Myran won the Naisten Ykkönen, the second tier of women’s football in the country, in 2018, which gained promotion to the top division.
The Finnish side currently sit ninth in the table and Topliss will be aiming to make an impact with the team in the final few weeks of the 2019 season.
Topliss added: “The most exciting thing is that it’s a new challenge. I’m ready to learn and to grow as a person and player and I believe IK Myran will help me do that.
“I’m also excited to meet my new teammates and coaching staff. I can’t wait to get started and to contribute on the pitch.”
The Walsall-native was a student-athlete for four years and played for the Eagles throughout her time with CMU, including 18 appearances in her freshman year.
Topliss went on to play 19 games in her sophomore year and she scored seven goals and had six assists to her name after making 21 games in her junior year.
The midfielder was instrumental in CMU winning their first conference title, in the program’s history, in 2017 and they also appeared in back-to-back NAIA National Tournament appearances.
In terms of personal accolades, Topliss captained the team for two seasons, was named an NAIA All-American and a two-time Heart All-American. She spoke about how her time at CMU played a huge part in setting her up for what was to come.
Topliss said: “Being a student-athlete definitely helped me become more disciplined in time-management, ensuring I was still working at the highest level and being able to keep on top of my school work. This helped me stay focused and be 100% committed to what I was doing.
She continued: “I loved every minute at Central Methodist. The town of Fayette became a home to me, and I couldn’t have chosen a better place to study and play soccer.
“I’m very thankful for my coaches, who pushed me and believed in me and helped me achieve everything that I did, both on the field and academically, too.”