Man City Women are delighted to announce goalkeeper Karen Bardsley has signed a new contract with the Club.
The England star has agreed a deal which extends her stay at the Academy Stadium for a further two years.
The 32-year-old, who joined the Club in November 2013, has been an integral part of the Blues’ journey, having made 66 appearances in sky blue.
A second Continental Tyres Cup triumph and an impressive maiden Champions League campaign would follow and the California-born shot-stopper is eager to achieve more success with the Blues.
“I feel great,” she told ManCity.com. “I’m really excited to have put pen to paper and remain at a place I absolutely love.
“I’m proud to be part of Manchester City and I’m excited to see out the next couple of years. It was never in doubt.
“I’ve been here from the beginning and I’ve found the Club’s outlook to be really progressive. There’s always something changing for the better and it feels like a family.
“We developed these standards which personally resonate with me – how I see myself and what I want to achieve.
“The Club is ambitious and this is where I belong.”
Bardsley was at Manchester Airport on her way back to California when she first met with City’s Head of Women’s Football Gavin Makel.
With the Club yet to relaunch as ‘Man City Women’, the ‘keeper was intrigued with the professionalism, the plans for the future and the promise of improvement.
“It’s changed a lot since I first came here,” she stated. “Things started to progress really quickly.
“It’s amazing how much the Club have integrated us into the entire environment. We’re treated like everyone else. I really enjoy the vision this Club has for women’s football and I’m so grateful for the fact it is inclusive.”
She added: “I would say I’ve become a more effective and efficient goalkeeper. My distribution has improved and I’ve become more economical in the goal.
“I don’t have to go chasing moments – I’m ready for when they come to me. It’s a really fun philosophy to be part of because the goalkeeper is involved a bit more than in other clubs and methodologies.
“Coming to training every day, you know you’re going to get better and that’s the main drive – that’s something that’s been my overall highlight.
“The football methodology has changed my thinking of football and from a well-being process, it’s helped a lot.
“The people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve been given have really made an impact on me.
“Each day brings something new and I work really well with a goal, a focus and a challenge.”
Manager Cushing expressed his delight to continue working with a player he feels is a positive influence both on and off the pitch.
He declared: “Karen’s professionalism and drive to improve every day is exceptional and I’m delighted she has extended her contract with the Club.
“Her positive attitude and work ethic on and off the pitch has made her an incredible role model and I am confident the younger players in the squad will continue to learn a lot from training alongside her.”
Bardsley has helped City to four trophies in three years – two Continental Tyres Cups, a league title and an FA Cup. Having also made her Champions League debut, the shot-stopper has enjoyed many special moments in Manchester.
Asked of her favourite, she admitted it was a tough decision.
“If I had to choose a moment, winning the FA Cup at Wembley is at the forefront of my mind,” she smiled.
“It has to be winning one of the trophies or reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League in our inaugural season.
“That was something I’d never been a part of so that was a really cool experience.”
The achievements accomplished in 2016 and 2017 will be difficult to beat but Bardsley asserts her side have more to give and are relishing the chance to prove it.
“For us, it’s going to be about making tweaks and changes where we can, learning from the previous competitions,” she concluded.
“The Champions League is our next target. We want to make sure we’re always there or thereabouts. Hopefully, we’ll have another great run.
“For me, it’s about putting good performances in on the pitch, playing the City way.
“At the end of the day, it’s about keeping clean sheets. That’s my way of scoring a goal!
“I’m really excited for whatever it may bring. Another few trophies in the cabinet would be good.”