Karen Bardsley says she is delighted with City’s signing of prolific goalscorer and fellow England international Ellen White.
The striker will join Nick Cushing’s side on 1 July after this summer’s eagerly-anticipated Women’s World Cup tournament in France, bringing with her a wealth of experience, glittering CV and impressive goalscoring record.
Having built a close relationship with the forward on both a personal and professional capacity, Bardsley also believes the 30-year-old will prove as valuable off the pitch with her work ethic, personality and attitude.
The shot-stopper, who penned a contract extension herself earlier this month, has played alongside White for the Lionesses at senior level for almost ten years, and is keen to link up with the forward at Club level.
“I’m really excited,” she declared. “I love Ellen – she’s a great girl and a great teammate.
“I’ve played against her loads in the past but I’ve also player with her quite a lot with England.
“She’s got a fantastic work ethic and she applied herself in the most professional manner, which is going to be really good on and off the pitch. She’ll lead by example.
“She’s full of goals. She’s a natural goalscorer – she just seems to know where the goal is.
“She’s not afraid to take opportunities and I think one of her most valuable assets is that she’s absolutely fearless in front of goal. She’ll put herself in harm’s way to get her head on the ball!
“She’s a quick study too – a smart and intelligent girl – and it won’t take long for her to fit in seamlessly.
“She’s very much well-applied in her practice – not only in an analytic sense but also in the way she applies herself on the pitch. I really appreciate her honesty and commitment to anything she does.
“Her signing is going to be really good for the team culture. She’s going to be a really valuable asset to the team because she’s really easy-going and good fun to be around.
“I’m hoping she’s going to really help to contribute to the level of enjoyment and fun we’ll have next season as well as contributing to success.
“She’s a really nice girl with a really good ability to communicate – she’s a good listener and a good friend – and she’ll fit in really nicely.”
Bardsley – one of Cushing’s very first signings when City relaunched in 2014 – committed her own immediate future to the Club, putting pen to paper on a new deal.
The good news was followed by more, as teenage goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck followed in her mentor’s footsteps, also signing a new deal, which keeps her at the Club until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
Bardsley was thrilled to hear of Roebuck’s intention to stay, cementing the alliance of the ‘Goalkeepers’ Union’, which also includes youngster Fran Stenson.
“We’re a really close-knit group,” Bardsley explained. “There is only one shirt but each of us is driven to leave it in a better place than we found it.
“Of course, I always want to play and so does Ellie but there’s an understated support for each other that I think is very unique.
“We have an understanding that – regardless of who is playing – we support them fully and we want them to achieve for the benefit of the team.
“We push each other to that point and as a result, we contribute to each other’s success and the success of the team. That’s something I’m really proud of.
“I do tend to harp on about the Goalkeepers’ Union but we are really tight and I’m proud to say Ellie has become a very close friend of mine.
“She’s a great young ‘keeper and she’s made some outstanding saves. She’s impacted the team on and off the pitch this season.
“I’m really proud that she made her senior England debut this year too. She has a really bright future ahead of her. I’m honoured to be part of it.
“Fran has come in too at such a young age and has worked so hard. She’s developed so quickly in a short space of time and I’m proud of how she’s progressed.
“In terms of going forward, we have to continue to match the quality that other European opposition have.
“While continuing to develop players at a young age, we also need to match them with experience and I think we have a really nice, diverse mix of that.
“Hopefully, over the summer, we’ll get some really great international experience, which will transition nicely into league, cup and European success.”