City Women have signed England youngster Jess Holbrook.
The creative midfielder becomes City’s sixth signing of the off-season and was presented to the press at the club’s relaunch event at the Etihad Stadium.
Holbrook joins the Blues from Liverpool Ladies and hopes to help her new club to become a major force in the FA Women’s Super League.
“I’m really excited,” she smiled. “It’s been great meeting the squad this week and we’re all looking forward to playing together.
“Since I arrived, I’ve been really impressed. Everything is so professional and everyone seems to be on the same page.
“When I met with the managerial team, they sat me down and showed me their plans for the future. City is such a huge club and now, with the backing from the men’s side, the women are being pushed onto the big stage.
“With the big signings that have been made, we can only get better and better. I already know some of the players as well so that will make things easier.”
Holbrook, who originates from Manchester, began her career at Everton in the 2008/09 season after working her way through the Toffees’ Centre of Excellence.
During her time at the Merseyside outfit, the midfielder also made her international debut for England at youth level. Since then, she has progressed through the ranks to the under-23 side, notably scoring in the final of the 2010 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship in Macedonia – a moment she admits is one of her best to date.
“Although we didn’t win, it was still a special moment,” she recalled. “I would say that goal is probably my favourite one, but winning the title with Liverpool last season is my career highlight.”
Holbrook suffered a major setback to her career in 2011 when she ruptured her cruciate ligament and tore her meniscus. She had to spend six months in rehab, working hard to get back to full fitness.
Following her recovery, she joined Leeds United Ladies in 2011, enjoying a successful stint at the Yorkshire outfit, netting 16 goals in 39 appearances. In 2013, she was named the club’s Player of the Year.
Such performances attracted interest from Liverpool who were quick to capture the midfielder’s signature. Holbrook helped the Reds to the 2013 Super League title before opting to join City.
Having already tasted success at such a young age, Holbrook is eager to secure more trophies with the Blues.
“We just want to be as competitive as we can be,” she declared. “Hopefully, as the season goes on, the team will grow and by the end, we’d hope to be competing with the best – maybe in a cup final.
“On a personal level, I’m hoping to play as much as I can. I want to improve each week.”