Birmingham City Women have completed the signing of Sunderland captain Lucy Staniforth.
The 25-year-old midfielder is a highly-rated English prospect who was called up for her first England training camp last month.
“I hope to get into the England squad on a regular basis,” said Staniforth.
“I’ve grown a lot as a player and as a person over the past two years and I felt it was the right time for me to develop my career.
“After meeting Marc, I felt that Birmingham City was the right place for me.
“I admire what he’s managed to achieve so far at the club and I think there’s even bigger things to come.
“I want to win something with Birmingham City which would be massive.”
Staniforth began her career at Sunderland in 2007 before making a reluctant move away three years later.
With Sunderland’s bid to become part of the newly-formed Women’s Super League rejected, Staniforth signed for Lincoln Ladies to further her career.
After two seasons with Lincoln, she moved onto Bristol Academy then Liverpool.
But serious injuries plagued her time at both clubs, making just nine league starts in two years.
She returned to her beloved Sunderland shortly after and returned to full-fitness to play 49 times out of a possible 56 matches.
Staniforth is Marc Skinner’s first signing of the summer and is much needed positive news for fans of Birmingham City Women.
Coaches Leanne Hall and Tanya Oxtoby have both left the club within the last month as well as four first-team players.
Blues will get a chance to see the midfielder in action in August when Skinner’s side travel to Leicester City.