Norwegian international Julie Blakstad has become our first signing of 2022.

The 20-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year deal at the Academy Stadium, joining us from Norwegian side Rosenborg.

Here are 10 things you may or may not know about our latest Blue…


1. Some 41!

Sporting the squad number 41, she’s bound to stand out on the teamsheet!

Blakstad explains it is a figure that does hold significance, sparking memories of her early footballing days.

“I am going to wear the number 41 shirt here,” she told “I had that number when I was a little girl at my first club in Norway.

“When I came to Rosenborg all the cool numbers like number 7, 10 or 11 were all taken so I thought: ‘Yeah, why not keep that number from my previous club?’

“I really like it as when people wear number 41 it’s me, whereas if you wear 7 or 10 it could be a lot of players. That’s why I like the shirt.”

2. National treasures

Asked of her idols and inspirations, she recalled three legendary compatriots.

“In terms of female football players, I really like Carolina Graham Hansen – the Norwegian international who plays for Barcelona,” she added.

“But I also like to watch other athletes as well such as Jakob Ingebritsen and Karsten Warholm of Norway, who won the 1500m and 400m Olympic gold medals in Tokyo last summer.

“People like that have something really good that always drives them forward. I find that I can get inspired by people like them not only as a runner but as a football player too.

“They have a passion inside and a willingness to grow and be better.”

3. It’s the climb

If she had not pursued a career in football, Julie believes she may have taken an alternative, vertical path of climbing mountains!

“I follow a lot of people on Instagram that do climbing and surfing and things like that and I really like it,” she explained.

“I don’t think I could be an Influencer as I’m not sure how I would go about making an income!

“So, maybe if I wasn’t a footballer, I would travel around the world and look to climb mountains and surf. That would be great!”

4. The great outdoors

The 20-year-old says she loves being surrounded by nature – and has even purchased a heavy-duty sleeping bag for overnight stays outdoors!

“When not playing or studying, I like to hang out with my friends,” she continued.

“I really enjoy spending time in the mountains or outside enjoying nature really and to sleep outside!

“I actually bought a new sleeping bag a couple of months ago and it can cope with temperatures which go as low as minus 20 degrees.

“Fortunately, I don’t think that I will need to use it over here in Manchester!”

5. Midfield engine-eer

Alongside her footballing exploits, Blakstad is studying a master’s degree in Engineering, which she began in Norway and will continue in Manchester.

“I still go to school to study, and I have started my master’s degree in Engineering back in Norway,” she revealed.

“So, I have spent a lot of time away from football doing that as well.

“I will carry on the course here in Manchester, as I will be able to study remotely over the internet here at City so that should be fun!”

6. Football family

Julie’s love of the beautiful game derives from her father and she says her family have been key influences throughout her career.

“My dad was always really interested in the game and I had a lot of friends who also played it and I just liked it as it was really fun,” she recalled.

“It just felt like it was the right sport for me.

“I have been lucky to have had a lot of good trainers and people around me. It’s primarily those close to me like my family and the people in the club.”

7. Little friend

She has a dog – a cocker called Little!

“I have a dog back in Norway,” she smiled. “She is called Little and is a cocker.

“I won’t be able to bring her over to Manchester with me though so my family will look after her back in Norway while I am playing here.”

8. Silver surfer

Blakstad says her career highlight was winning a silver medal with Rosenborg. She scored 17 goals in 35 appearances for the club since joining them in 2020!

She has also enjoyed success at international youth level before being handed her debut for the senior side against Wales in October 2020.

“My career highlight would probably be winning the silver medal with Rosenborg in the Toppserien last season,” she declared.

“My favourite moment was probably winning an international Under-17 tournament with Norway.

“We had an especially memorable game against France along the way… that was pretty cool!”

9. Crown Jules

Affectionately nicknamed ‘Jules’ by one of the backroom staff – an Englishman – at Rosenborg, the youngster hopes the moniker will prove a good omen for her time in Manchester!

“I didn’t have one originally but there was an Englishman who was on the staff at Rosenborg and he called me Jules,” she laughed.

“Maybe that will stick with me here at City!”

10. Sound advice

Julie says the best piece of advice she has ever received is: ‘To always trust yourself in whatever it is that you do’ and highlights the importance of having a work-life balance.

“For me it’s also important to have friends who don’t play football,” she admitted.

“That way, I can hang out with them and just talk about stuff other than football.

“I find that’s a really important way for me to relax away from playing.”