Monday 18 September 2017

Goalkeeper Danielle Gibbons Signs For World's First

Sheffield FC is delighted to announce it has secured the signature of the former Liverpool goalkeeper ahead of the new 2017/18 FA Women's Super League season.

Gibbons has spent the past seven seasons at WSL1 side Liverpool LFC, and has been a part of the squad there for every season since the FA Women's Super League was formed in 2011, making her the team's longest serving player before her amicable departure with the club following the FA WSL Spring Series. 

Encouraged to play football from an early age by her parents, Danielle initially started out as a defender, only converting to a goalkeeper at the age of 14 when her team became short of a keeper. 

She signed for Preston North End Women in 2008 where her performances over three years there caught the eye of Super League side Liverpool LFC, and Gibbons was subsequently scouted to join the Merseyside club in 2011.

Her performances at club level sparked interest by the England U19 coach, and she was awarded her first junior cap against Finland in September 2010. Her debut ended in a 2-0 victory, but it was her first home appearance for England that will remain long in the memory as the young English side triumphed over France in November of the same year.

Gibbons, now 25, underwent surgery for a benign brain tumour in 2015 having been diagnosed with acoustic neuroma at the age of just 20. She missed five months of Liverpool's 2015 campaign, but incredibly returned after surgery (which left her deaf in one ear) to play not only the final league match of the season, but the Reds' UEFA Champions League second round match away to Brescia, which was the player's debut in the competition. 

She is a hugely able, popular and well-respected player, and Sheffield FC's manager, Zoe Johnson, is thrilled to add the experienced goalkeeper to her squad ahead of the new season: 

"Everyone at the Club is delighted Danielle has agreed to come here. She's a player I've known for a long time, and I know exactly what she will bring us. She'll massively strengthen our squad, and is not only a fantastic player and extremely professional in everything she does, but she's a great person too." 

"I'm looking forward to seeing Gibbo in competitive action when the league starts this week-end. She's shown so far that's she not just a great goalkeeper, but that she's also a natural leader on the pitch which has been great to see and something we needed more of. She's been so good with our younger players too, so she fits in to exactly what we are trying to do here at Sheffield FC."

And, having spent the past month or so settling in and getting to know her new team mates, Gibbons is relishing a new challenge in between the sticks for the World's First Football Club: 

"I'm excited to kick off the season with Sheffield FC.  After being here for the last few weeks, I already feel settled in and the girls have been really welcoming."

"They're a very talented group so I'm confident that this season will be a successful one, and I'm hoping that my experiences can benefit the team as much as possible."

"I'm relishing the new challenge and, since signing for the Club, it's felt like a breath of fresh air.  I'm really enjoying being part of the Club so far, and I'm sure it will only get better as the season goes on."