“England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley joined City in November 2013.”
The 5' 11" goalkeeper brought hoards of experience to the new-look City side, having kicked off her professional career at Ajax America Women before moving to Pali Blues in 2008. The following year, she signed for Sky Blue FC, making 17 appearances.
August 2011 brought another change as Bardsley signed for Swedish club Linköpings FC. She stayed only a year at the club before signing for Lincoln Ladies in 2012.
The shot-stopper then signed a two year deal at City with high hopes from the outset. Eligible for the England national team through family connections to Stockport, Bardsley is a regular between the sticks on the international stage. She made her Lionesses debut in 2005, and also went on to pick up five caps for Great Britain at the London Olympics.
Having patiently served as understudy to Rachel Brown, Bardsley has retained her place ever since she broke into the England set-up, playing all four matches at the World Cups in 2011 and 2015 and featuring at the Euros in 2017.
One of the best women's goalkeepers in the game, she played a pivotal role in the 2014 Continental Cup-winning campaign, producing a number of spectacular saves on City's road to success.
Further glory would follow as the Blues secured a top-two finish in 2015 to secure Champions League football for the first time, and in 2016, Nick Cushing's side would clinch a historic league and cup double.
In May 2017, she completed the set of domestic trophies with an FA Cup Final triumph at Wembley and - although much of her campaign was blighted by injury - played her part in clinching European football for the third consecutive year as the Blues finished second in 2017.
One of her best days in a City shirt saw the shot-stopper produce two excellent saves in a dramatic penalty shoot-out in February 2019 to hand City a third Continental Cup triumph, as the Blues defeated Arsenal at Bramall Lane.
She signed a contract extension in May 2019, keeping her at the Club until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.