Netherlands international Kerstin Casparij has become Gareth Taylor’s sixth signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of Deyna Castellanos, Laia Aleixandri, Leila Ouahabi, Mary Fowler and Sandy MacIver.
Here are 10 things you may or may not know about our new No.2…
1. Young star
Casparij made her senior debut at the age of just 15! She describes herself as a “modern right wing-back” who likes to play a possession-based game.
“I'm very quick, I love playing on the ground – not just playing long,” she explained. “I really want to play the Manchester City style and I think it's a great fit.
“City have got an impressive team. I hope to be a great addition and bring my own strengths, seeing how I can fit into the style of play and get better.
“I hope to improve defensively. There are great wingers at the Club and in the league so I'll be tested more than once!”
2. European dreams
Kerstin says her career highlight so far was her Champions League debut with Twente last season.
“Playing in the Champions League with Twente and winning the league last year are my highlights, 100%,” she said.
“Playing in the Champions League was surreal. I always bring up the same moment – one thing I remember the most: we were playing Benfica in Lisbon, standing waiting to go on the pitch and suddenly, the crowd starting singing, screaming and banging.
“We were like: ‘What’s happening?!’ It was one of those moments where you are very present. ‘Wow, this is really happening!’
3. Dutch courage
The defender says her proudest moment was her first call-up to the Netherlands’ senior squad.
She made her debut in a World Cup qualifier against Cyprus in October 2021 and has made 13 appearances for The Oranje to date, including at this summer’s Women’s Euros where she faced Filippa Angeldahl’s Sweden in the group stage.
“I was just at home when I got the call,” she recollected. “Someone else had got injured and they called me up to say: ‘You’re in the squad and you can come tomorrow.’
“I was stressing. ‘Do I have everything?!’ Luckily I’d been with the Under-23s so I had my bags but I was extra stressing. ‘I can’t forget anything!’
“I called my mum and dad and they were so happy, so proud of me.”
4. Picture perfect
Off the pitch, she is an avid gamer and lover of photography.
“I’m very good at gaming,” she declared. “I like photography – I have an old-school polaroid camera and I like to go around and take pictures of everything.
“I’m looking forward to taking photos of Manchester this season – hopefully I can shoot some nice pictures and put some on my Instagram.” (instagram.com/kerstin_casparij)
5. Blue is the colour
Asked of an alternative career had she not ventured into football, Casparij believes she would have been a police officer!
“I think I would be in the police force,” she replied. “I think I would be walking around in blue!
“As a child, I once screamed: ‘I want to be a police officer!’ and I think I just took that with me.”
6. Like magic
She loves Harry Potter, noting the film series as her favourite of all time, and is currently listening to the audio books.
“I think that makes me very popular here!” she smiled. “Harry Potter is massive, right?”
7. That’s a rap
Her favourite current musical artist is American rapper Jack Harlow, though she says her music taste is very varied.
She adds she may offer some suggestions to dressing room DJ Alex Greenwood!
“I have no favourite category,” she admitted. “I listen to everything, literally everything. I keep it very open.
“At the moment, I’m listening to a lot of Jack Harlow. Maybe if I have a few good songs, I’ll hit Alex up!”
8. Squeak dreams
Perhaps she was destined for a move to the United Kingdom as her favourite food is ‘stamppot’ – the Dutch equivalent of bubble and squeak!
“Bubble and squeak! Is that good? Did I say it right?!” she laughed.
“It’s something my mum always used to make when it was around Christmastime.
“It’s the feeling of nostalgia eating it.”
9. Dog lover
She’s a dog lover and has three canine companions: Moezel, Nala and June.
“At my parents’ house, we have two French bulldogs and I have a boomer – a Maltese Shih Tzu mix at my mother-in-law’s,” she revealed. “I love them very much.
“I’ve heard a lot of the girls have dogs as well so I think I’ll feel at home.”
Though she does not have any tattoos at the moment, she is open to inking in a celebration of a major trophy.
“If I have something on my arm, you know how it turned out!” she grinned.