Georgia Stanway admits she is living her dream after completing a move from Blackburn Rovers to join big-hitters Manchester City.
After scoring an astonishing 35 goals in 15 games in the Women’s Premier League last season, England Under-17 international Stanway was always going to attract attention.
And so it proved, with FA Women’s Super League 1 outfit Manchester City making contact late last month to signal their interest.
While sad to leave her home club after coming through the centre of excellence to break into the senior side last season, it was a decision Stanway could not decline.
The Manchester club have a strong women’s set up with the ladies first team playing their games at the 7,000 capacity Academy Stadium, while they boast no fewer than five members of England’s World Cup bronze medal-winning team among their ranks.
And Stanway, who has this week moved to live with a host family in Manchester and will study at St Bede’s College, couldn’t be more certain she is in the right place to continue her footballing education.
“It’s where I’ve always wanted to be. They got in touch a couple of weeks ago and I could not say no really,” said Stanway, who has left her home in Barrow-in-Furness.
“I’m a bit nervous but that’s going to happen. I’m more excited to get started, I’m living my dream really. It was definitely hard saying goodbye to Blackburn Rovers, especially after all the work they have put in, but they were really supportive about my decision.
“I went down the other week to have a look around and meet everyone but I start training properly this week.
“I went to watch the first team’s win against Birmingham City at the weekend too and the atmosphere was amazing.
“I remember watching all the videos on the club and then they built the new complex and I’m now going to get the chance to train and play there, it’s amazing.”
For now, Stanway will train with the first team but play games for the development team in order to gain experience.
It’s been a busy time for the 16-year-old too, who finished the season with Rovers before playing in the recent Nordic Cup in Denmark for England Under-16s – although Stanway admits she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I had a week off after the Nordic Cup and then I’ve joined Manchester City so I’ve not had that much time off,” she added.
“In contrast to Blackburn Rovers league which runs according to the men’s season, the FA WSL is a summer league.
“But it’s exactly how I prefer it, I’d get bored if I didn’t have football to do. And this way I will be on form from last season.
“I hope to break through into the first team in a season or so. Everyone has been so supportive already and I’m just so happy.”
SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen