Women's Team

Steph Houghton pens new contract

Steph Houghton pens new contract
Manchester City are delighted to announce captain Steph Houghton has signed a new contract.

The centre-back has put pen to paper on a two-year deal, keeping her at the Club until the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

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Skipper Houghton, 31, has amassed 160 appearances for City since making the move to Manchester from Arsenal in 2014 and has led Nick Cushing’s side to a clean sweep of domestic silverware with three Continental Cups, two FA Cups and a league title, plus consecutive Women’s Champions League semi-finals.

Admired for her leadership, dedication, passion – and trademark stunning free-kicks – the defender has played a pivotal role in the Club’s success, and hopes to guide the team to further glory in sky blue.

“I’m really delighted,” she declared. “I’ve been here for six years and I’ve been made to feel at home – this is my Club and I’ve enjoyed so many amazing memories here so far, winning trophies and with the players I’ve played with and manager I’ve worked under.

“I’ve seen the Club from the beginning – back when we only had five professional players – and I’ve seen the Club grow to be the best Club in England and if not Europe.

“I came here with the intention of winning trophies, bettering myself as an individual and a player, playing for a team who plays good football and could be the best in England. I believe this Club can go as far as it wants to go.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Steph Houghton pens a new deal

“Both on and off the pitch, the Club has developed me as a player and a person, having the people we have around us, the unbelievable facilities and Stadium. It’s a special place for me and my family live in Manchester now. It was a pretty easy decision!

“My only thought was to have my future here for the next few years and I’m really happy.”

With an already-glittering CV of successes with Arsenal and Leeds United, Houghton signed for City on New Year’s Day 2014, as one of Cushing’s first signings. Since then, she has smashed records both on and off the pitch, as a pioneer, ambassador and consummate role model in the women’s game.

Awarded an MBE in 2016 for her services to football, the 31-year-old also became the first female player to appear on the front cover of Shoot Magazine and is now carving a career in the media industry as a pundit.

With 117 appearances for her country, Houghton was awarded the England captaincy in 2014 and has helped the Lionesses to a World Cup bronze medal, and successive semi-finals in three major tournaments.

She also represented Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics, scoring three goals in five games from defence.

A highly-motivated, inspirational leader, the centre-back’s influence has been vital in transforming City from league newcomers to league Champions, and she believes the best is still yet to come from a personal and collective level.

“I really feel there’s more to come from myself,” she added.

“When I first came, I’d only played at centre-half for around six months. Under Nick’s coaching and with the help of the sports scientists and everyone around the Club who had the belief I could be one of the best centre halves in England and Europe, I feel I’ve developed every single year in different areas – with and without the ball, alongside my leadership.

“This is the right Club for me to continue to improve and I feel I’m in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in. Every time I go out onto the training pitch, I have more energy and enthusiasm, and I want to learn.

“Even though I’m a little older – and I was when I first came – it’s important to have the drive to be the best. I’ve certainly got that.”

Head of Women’s Football Gavin Makel spoke of his delight to secure the skipper’s services.

“We are thrilled that Steph has committed her future to Manchester City,” he said.

“She has been an integral member of not only the team, but the Club as a whole since our reformation six years ago and her efforts go well beyond her performances on the pitch.

“Her leadership skills are second to none and she never fails to amaze everybody here at Manchester City with her passion, drive and hunger to improve.”