Lawley becomes City’s first signing for 2017

Lawley becomes City’s first signing for 2017

Blue Girl Lawley becomes a Citizen.

Sophie Lawson

England Next Gen player, Melissa Lawley has swapped Birmingham City for Manchester City ahead of the Spring Series and 2017-18 season.

European experience

After a brief spell with Bristol City (then Academy) Lawley made a name for herself with Birmingham City, whom she joined in 2013. Although still just 22, Lawley brings not only five years of WSL experience with her but a knowledge of the UEFA Women’s Champions League too.

She netted the opening goal in her first European outing as the Blues started their 2013-14 UWCL bid in the round of 32 against PK-35 Vantaa, before popping up on the scoresheet to finish the scoring in the round of 16 against Zorkiy Krasnogorsk at St. Andrews. A consistent and key player under David Parker during his tenure at Damson Park, Lawley has more than earned her stripes in the league.

Although not as prolific as others in her position, Lawley always offers in attack and any team that Birmingham have come up against in the last four years have had to be weary of her desire to get forward. With pace to burn and an eye for getting in behind defences, Lawley should fit seamlessly into Nick Cushing’s WSL winning team, her worth ethic and natural flair on the ball a fantastic platform to be built upon at the Academy.

Privileged and excited

When speaking with the club site following the announcement, Lawley spoke of feeling “privileged” to have joined the Manchester club, “excited” for the chance to show her “potential” and grow as a player under Cushing’s leadership. Looking not just to learn from her manager but her teammates who carry a range of experience with them, already familiar with Izzy Christiansen from her time in Birmingham blue as well as Nikita Parris and Abbie McManus from different spells with the England youth teams.

Having worked her way through the England U17, U19, U20 and U23’s, Lawley was named in the first rebranded Next Gen squad and spoke to City teammate Christiansen at a recent England camp who suggested, joining City “would be the best” thing Lawley could do. Facing tough competition for starting spots, Lawley is keen to prove herself already “looking forward to the challenge”, wanting to boost her goal and assist tallies with the Sky Blues as well as eyeing a UWCL win with the Citizens.

Home grown

Known for more humble signings, Cushing has once again surprised WSL fans by staying at home and plucking a strong, developable player who already understands the rigors not just of the domestic league but the Champions League too. Speaking of wanting to “build” his team around “good, young, English players” Cushing has done just that with the recruitment of Lawley.

Speaking of his first signing for 2017 as a “very good player” with “real attacking attributes”, Cushing pin-pointed her ability to affect play on the pitch, “highlighting early” that the England international could be “an asset” for the club. Still young and with plenty to learn, Cushing alluded to her “potential” and ambition, and believes that the club will only grow with Lawley in its’ ranks.