Women's Team

Khiara Keating signs first professional contract

Khiara Keating has signed her first professional contract with Manchester City.

The 18-year-old goalkeeper has put pen to paper on a two-year deal, which keeps her at the Academy Stadium until the summer of 2024.

Born and raised in nearby Ardwick, Keating joined the Club’s youth set-up in 2015 and enjoyed a breakout campaign last season when she made five appearances for the first team.

“It’s a very proud moment for myself and my family – I’ve been in and around the first team for a while now, but to now officially be a professional player is just amazing,” she told mancity.com.

“The opportunities I had last season were unbelievable – at the time, they felt a little surreal!

“For my debut, I was told literally just before kick-off as Karima [Benameur Taieb] had picked up an injury in the warm-up, so it was nerves and excitement all rolled into one when I was out there, but it went really well.

“At the start of the season, my goal was just to learn and soak up as much as I could from the girls, but to play five games was beyond my expectations.

“The fans have been amazing too and I cannot thank them enough for their support so far.

“To go from being an Academy player and college student, to training and playing alongside senior internationals in the squad, it definitely helped me to mature both on and off the pitch and I’m so excited for what else is to come.”

Keating began training with City’s first team at the age of 16 and spent time on loan at AFC Fylde before being thrust into the spotlight when injury ruled Karen Bardsley, Ellie Roebuck and Taieb out last season.

She made her debut in the Continental Tyres Cup against Leicester City in January, keeping a clean sheet in a 5-0 win before making her league bow just days later in a 3-0 victory away at Aston Villa.

The teenager earned plaudits galore for her impressive performance in a Sky Sports televised 1-1 draw against Arsenal, enhancing her reputation as one of the country’s brightest young goalkeepers.

An England youth international, she has represented the Lionesses at various age groups and is currently a regular for the Under-19s.

Head Coach Gareth Taylor added: “This is completely deserved for Khiara – she worked incredibly hard last season and really stepped up to the plate when we needed her most.

“She is a talented young goalkeeper and has a bright future ahead of her and here at City, Ellie [Roebuck] and Sandy [MacIver] are great role models for her to learn from and work with.

“We’re really looking forward to working with her over the coming years and helping her to continue her growth and development both on and off the pitch.”