Women's Team

Sandy MacIver: 10 things you didn't know

England international Sandy MacIver is Gareth Taylor’s fifth signing of the summer.

The 24-year-old has put pen to paper on a four-year deal at the Academy Stadium, joining us from Everton.

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

1. Remember the name

First things first, her name is actually Alexandra Elena MacIver (pronounced ‘Mac-ee-ver’)!

She goes by her nickname ‘Sandy’ but admits people often mispronounce her surname as ‘Mac-eye-ver.’

One to remember for her chant!

2. Back in the City

She’s been here before! The shot-stopper spent a year in City’s Academy in 2015 before jetting across the Atlantic to the United States on a three-year soccer scholarship with Clemson Tigers – an experience she feels helped her to grow both on and off the pitch.

“For me, it was a life-changing three-and-a-half years,” she reflects. “It’s something I look back on with really fond memories and something I’m really glad I did.

“I had to mature very quickly, being away from home at such a young age is quite difficult – I had to adjust pretty quickly when I went.

“For me, it was such a big part of my development – not only as a footballer but as a person.

“I came out with an Accountancy degree as well, which is really important. (Maths was my favourite subject at school).”

3. Lionesses’ den

She shared a house with City and England teammate Chloe Kelly when the pair were together at Everton, and is very familiar with the many Lionesses within Gareth Taylor’s squad.

“I’m very close with Chloe Kelly,” Sandy reveals. “When we were at Everton, we house-shared together so we know each other very well.

“I’m looking forward to playing with her again. Knowing so many players from England will help me settle on the pitch and off the pitch a bit quicker.”

4. Carrying the torch

She carried the Olympic Torch through the streets of Chester at London 2012 and then became an Olympian at the 2020 Games in Tokyo with Team GB!

“At the time when I carried the Torch, I never thought I’d be an Olympian myself,” she admitted.

“That experience as a whole is incomparable. To have been there in that squad with those players, although we weren’t able to achieve anything, is something I’ll never forget.”

5. Wembley wonder

She produced a Player of the Match display against City for Everton in the 2020 FA Cup Final.

Although Gareth Taylor’s side would go on to triumph in extra-time, MacIver starred for the Toffees and says the experience of playing at Wembley fuelled her hunger for success.

“That FA Cup Final was one of the biggest games of my career,” she smiles.

“City are a Club who play at Wembley often. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help the team continue to lift trophies.”

6. Super save

In that game at Wembley, she pulled off the save she deems the best of her career, tipping a Steph Houghton header onto the post.

“I’d probably have to say the one in the FA Cup Final against Steph!” she grinned, when quizzed on her greatest stop.

“That’s one I won’t forget, although City ended up winning. Hopefully I’ll lift the FA Cup with City this year!”

7. For ‘keeps

Sandy’s footballing idol was fellow goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis, though City’s newest recruit hadn’t always stood between the sticks… She actually started out as a striker.

“When I was at primary school, I saw boys playing football so I thought I’d join in and I took it from there,” she recalls.

“My dad probably watched football on TV but unless they’re hiding something from me, I don’t think my parents were ever great footballers!

“Before I was a goalkeeper, I won a signed England women’s team photo from Rachel Brown-Finnis and many years later, I was lucky enough to train with her at Everton.

“That’s when I saw first-hand how good she was. She did inspire me, especially in the transition to becoming a goalkeeper. It was my dream to follow in her footsteps.

“I started off as a striker. I probably wasn’t good enough to play outfield! I slowly worked my way back and then it was something that sounded good. I would do it for fun in the garden and eventually, it stuck.

“There was a goalkeeping coach called Dave Andrews who was a big influence on my career. I was the first girl he trained, which I think was a bit of a shock for him – I was training with the boys but that definitely helped me a lot growing up.”

8. Oink-croyable!

Sandy’s mother is French and our new ‘keeper practices her language skills with the help of… Peppa Pig!

“My mum is French but I’m not as good at it as I should be,” she concedes. “So, to keep on top of my French, I watch Peppa Pig in French on YouTube!”

C’est magnifique.

9. Karate kid

Asked for a fun fact about herself, she revealed she has a black belt in karate!

And her best skill away from football? Golf.

“I play golf, or try to…” she laughed. “That’s probably my main hobby outside of football.”

10. Words of wisdom

Sandy says the best piece of advice she’s ever received is: to focus on yourself and be patient.

“Don’t worry about what other people say,” she declares. “Also especially at a young age, remember that things aren’t always won and lost on one day.

“For all the ambitions I have with City and England, it’s a long-term thing.”