Arsenal midfielder Leah Williamson signs new long term deal as the life-long fan describes ‘unbelievable‘ feeling
PUBLISHED: 15:40 23 March 2018
Arsenal fans can celebrate after midfielder Leah Williamson signed a long-term contract with the club.
The talented 20-year-old put pen to paper on a new deal with the Continental Cup winners on Thursday.
Williamson, who first signed for the Gunners in 2006, explained it was an ‘unbelievable’ feeling to commit her future to the club she’s supported since she was a child.
Williamson said: “This is my club, the team I’ve supported my whole life, and I couldn’t be happier to be here. I definitely wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
“Even putting on the training kit, coming to work every day, being in these facilities - I know how lucky I am, especially to be in my position at my age. To be at a club where I’m a fan, I’m just blown away all the time.”
The Milton-Keynes-born footballer comes from a family of Gooners and her dream of playing for the club came true when she joined Arsenal Ladies centre of excellence at the age of nine.
The only way has been up since, making her way from the youth team to the senior team and national team by the age of 20.
The versatile player – who can play central midfield and central defence – was a key part of the Arsenal Women’s U17’s double-winning squad in 2013, which saw her move up to the senior team in 2014.
That same year, she was named captain of the England U17’s.
At 17, Williamson made her senior debut alongside her childhood-hero and Arsenal icon, Kelly Smith. Despite coming on as a late substitute, the youngster made her mark, making her WSL debut shortly after.
Her first title for the senior team came the same season, as Arsenal Women were crowned the FA Women’s Cup champions after a win against Everton Ladies.
2014 was a notable year in Williamsons growing career, at the end of the season she was awarded the FA WSL Cup player of the year ahead of a handful of experienced and talented players.
The following year, she signed her first professional contract with Arsenal Women after establishing herself as a regular starter for the club.
At 18-years-old, the starlet was named the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year, adding to a host of individual awards, including England Women’s Youth Player of the Year.
In 2016 Williamson won the FA Cup with Arsenal against Chelsea. The 20-year-old said the win at Wembley was the ‘proudest moment of her life’.
The central midfielder’s list of honours was added to earlier this month as she lifted the Continental Cup after a 1-0 win over Manchester City.
Described by many as a talented young player with great vision and awareness, Williamson said there was ‘no hesitation’ in pledging her future with the North Londoners.
She added: “I can feel myself growing week in, week out, so by the end there’s absolutely no hesitation. This is where I want to be.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.