Proud Lucy Staniforth has spoken of her delight after signing for FA Women’s Super League (WSL) champions, Liverpool Ladies.
The England U23 star, from Alnwick, completed the switch from Bristol Academy earlier this month.
And the ambitious 21-year-old is determined to help the Reds retain their title and set the Champions League stage alight in the club’s debut season.
“It’s really exciting,” Staniforth told the club’s offical website.
“It is special and I am absolutely delighted to join Liverpool Ladies.
“I can’t wait to get started and I hope that I am able to improve a squad that is already full of top-class internationals as we strive to retain our WSL trophy and impress in our debut Champions League season.
“Champions League is something that you think of in the very distant future, but it very rarely comes about, so for me to be able to say I will be playing Champions League football this year is going to be amazing.
“Hopefully I can give Liverpool something on the pitch that is going to help them get to the final, get them to where we should be and I don’t see why we can’t get there.”
Her Merseyside move comes on the back of what has been a tough time for the attacking midfielder, who has endured a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering cruciate ligament damage in May’s FA Cup final.
The former Duchess’s Community High School pupil is hoping she can put the injury nightmare behind her.
“I really want to get back playing and have a successful season on the pitch,” she told liverpoolladiesfc.com.
“I’m feeling really strong and I’m feeling really confident with it, touch wood.
“So hopefully it’s just going to go from strength to strength.
“I hope I can play a big role, but obviously that’s down to the manager and where he sees me fitting into the team.
“I hope I can do them justice and I really want to get back playing and have a successful season on the pitch.”
Staniforth admitted it was a tough decision to leave Bristol, who finished second in the WSL last term.
She thanked everyone at the south-west club for their support, adding that she enjoyed her time there.
Staniforth told the Liverpool website: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bristol.
“They did well last year and it was hard to leave them.
“But, with the calibre of players Liverpool have got here as well as the hands on coaching and the professionalism the whole club has got, it’s just something that is not normally there for women’s football, so for me to be able to access that is amazing.”
The switch to the north west also sees Staniforth reunite with fellow Alnwick lass Lucy Bronze, 22, who has been called up to the England team for the England squad for next month’s Cyprus Cup tournament.
The Three Lions won the annual Cyprus Cup last year and will this year take on Italy on March 5, Finland (March 7) and Canada (March 10).
Staniforth and Bronze played together at Sunderland Ladies, including the FA Cup final against Arsenal.
The pair, and their Liverpool colleagues, will begin the defence of their title with a home match against newcomers Manchester City.
The game, which will be the first BT Sport televised match of the campaign, will take place on Thursday, April 17.
Staniforth, capped at England U17, U19 and U20 levels, has also played for Lincoln Ladies.
Reds manager Matt Beard described Staniforth as an exciting signing, who will add quality to the squad.