Fresh out of university, 21-year-old midfielder Ashley Lawrence has signed her first professional contract with Division 1 Feminine table toppers, Paris-Saint Germain and will remain in the capital until 2019.
Having been known to Canadian audiences for many years the West Virginia graduate announced herself on the world stage at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the utility midfielder slipping into the shadows behind cohort, Kadeisha Buchanan. Naturally a central midfielder, Lawrence has shown her versatility playing across the backline but carries a healthy amount of experience with her having captained Canada’s U17 team at both the CONCACAF Championship and 2012 World Cup.
Lawrence was named Canadian U17 Player of the Year two years on the bounce over 2011 and 2012 before graduating to the seniors, racking up silver medals at the 2013 and 2015 editions of the Cyprus Cup.
Having proved herself fully capable, Lawrence was rewarded with a spot in John Herdman’s squad for the 2015 World Cup, having no qualms about playing in front of a noisy home crowd, Lawrence more than justified her selection with her dependable performances on the pitch. An ever-present this year, Lawrence has picked up more accolades and silverware, helping Canada to a gold at the Algarve Cup before playing a key role as the Canucks secured a second successive Olympic bronze.
Versatility is key
The MAC Hermann Trophy semi-finalist is very much stepping into the unknown with the move to France, but as the 21-year-old nears 50 caps for Canada there can be no question that she’s more than equipped to deal with the move up to a professional set-up. Although it’s not obvious whether PSG coach, Patrice Lair intends to use Lawrence more in midfield or defence her versatility is sure to give him another option in a talented squad, the young international set to pick up a wealth of experience.
Lawrence expressed her delight at the move, speaking about how "proud" she is to join the league-leaders, and sees the move as a positive one to fulfilling her ambitions, ready to get going as soon as the season restarts and give 100% "for the colours".