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Blades strengthen with goalkeeping duo

1 August 2019

Sheffield United have added goalkeeping duo Becky Flaherty and Emily Batty to their squad as the new FA Women's Championship season grows ever closer.

The additions of ex-Everton goalkeeper Flaherty and ex-Doncaster Rovers Belles goalkeeper Batty make them the sixth and seventh signings made by Carla Ward so far this summer.

Flaherty, 21, spent the 2017-18 FA WSL season with Liverpool where she made her league debut in a home match against Arsenal before switching to Everton last season.

The shot-stopper represented Scotland at various youth levels before switching to Northern Ireland where she made her senior debut in March this year, and now Flaherty is looking forward to getting under way at Sheffield United.

"I'm delighted to be here, I've really enjoyed it so far. The ambition of the club shows they're heading in the right direction. The goals they've set out, the challenges match perfectly with what I want to do as well, it's a great move for me."

Fellow youngster Batty joins after a season playing regularly for Doncaster Rovers Belles in the FA Women's National League.

Batty made several appearances in the Belles matchday squad during their last campaign in the second tier during the 2017-18 season but after demotion to the third tier, Batty became the club's number one last season and regularly impressed in goal.

The keeper was called up to England national goalkeeping trials at the end of last year, will offer up strong competition to her new teammate and is likewise looking forward to a new challenge with the Blades.

"I'm buzzing for the challenge of stepping up a level and I think me and Becky will prove to be a good duo over the course of the season.

"They're striving in the right direction. We've got a solid group of players and I'm looking forward to the challenges, it's going to be a great season."

The addition of two goalkeepers means Ward is now closing in on completing her squad for the new campaign and the manager is thrilled to add two quality young goalkeepers.

"I'm delighted Becky has joined us," said the manager. "She comes in with huge experience already in the game at both club and international level and I think that will only strengthen us. Having only been in a week she already looks part of the furniture and has settled into life here brilliantly.

"Emily is an exciting young goalkeeper who has real potential. We've had a close eye on her progress with Doncaster and they've done an excellent job with her and produced a great young player. She's a bright girl and we very much look forward to what's next for her."

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