Brooke Chaplen has revealed her delight at sealing a move to Sunderland ahead of the new FA Women’s Super League (WSL) season.
Chaplen, who has previously played for Pompey Ladies and Chelsea, spent six years at Everton.
But the Toffees were relegated from WSL division one last season.
And Chaplen, who hails from Copnor, this week completed a move back to the top table with the Black Cats.
The former Mayville High School student, who was named The News Sports Awards young sportswoman of the year in 2009, expressed her delight at the switch.
She said: ‘I enjoyed my time at Everton and they made me the player I am today.
‘But it’s brilliant to be joining Sunderland.
‘It’s a great set-up here and all the girls are lovely.
‘They are funny girls, I definitely think it’s going to be an entertaining year.
‘They have made me feel very welcome already – as has Carlton Fairweather (Black Cats head coach).
‘I’m now looking forward to being here on a full-time basis and getting stuck in to the season.’
Fairweather revealed his delight at capturing Chaplen, who has earned five caps for England under-23s. .
He said: ‘Brooke is a very good player, full of energy, and technically very good.
‘She can play various positions. She can play midfield, right-back, right-wing, so she’s going to be a very good addition to the players we’ve already got.’
Sunderland make their top-flight debut at reigning-champions Liverpool tonight (7.45pm).