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Leeds United are delighted to announce the signing of England under-23 striker Carla Cantrell from local rivals Doncaster Rovers Belles.
Carla has scored goals consistently in the National Division for the past two seasons and has been regularly involved in England under-23 squads and has also had a full England call up to a training camp.
Leeds Met Carnegie student Carla becomes the first of the summer signings by manager Rick Passmoor as Leeds aim to improve on last season's highest ever league position of third in the FA Women's Premier League.
Carla will also be taking up the new Leeds United Ladies scholarship programme at Leeds Metropolitan University for her third and final year at the University along with several other first team players from the club who are undertaking their first year at the University under the new scholarship programme, part of the football club's ongoing partnership with Leeds Met Carnegie.
Carla said: "I'm really pleased to have signed for Leeds United Ladies. It felt like the time had come for a fresh challenge and I know I am joining an ambitious club who are looking to challenge for trophies in the coming few seasons.
"I know quite a few of the players through England and I am looking forward to playing alongside them, they have some very talented players who are young and ambitious. I have come here to develop and improve as a footballer with Leeds and I'm looking forward to linking up with the players and getting ready for the new season. I would love to push on further at International level and if I perform well for Leeds, then who knows."
"I've been working throughout the back end of the season and close season to identify talented new players who would improve our team on the pitch and be a role model for the club off the pitch," said manager Rick Passmoor. "Everyone knew of my desire to improve the team with certain individuals and I am very pleased with the first signing of the summer, Carla Cantrell.
"I have been a long term admirer of her ability from a young age when she used to play junior football in the Doncaster area and then onto the Premier League arena with Belles. We know where we need to strengthen the squad and Carla Cantrell fits the bill. I have no doubt she will be an instant hit with the supporters and her fellow players."
Chairperson Melanie Vauvelle-Don added: "Carla is just the type of player we want at Leeds; young, hungry to be successful with a very professional attitude. Carla wants to work hard and improve, and with the coaching staff we have here and all the support she has at Leeds Met Carnegie she could go a long way and soon be knocking on the full international door.
"I know Carla had the chance to join quite a few other Premier League clubs and we are absolutely delighted she has joined Leeds - we see her as part of the club's big plans for the future."
Chris Welburn, Head of Women's Football at Leeds Met Carnegie and also a coach at Leeds, said: "I am delighted that Carla has signed for the club, she is a talented player and a great person. As a Carnegie student and scholar, it is fitting that Carla will play for our partners and having worked directly with Carla for the last two years here, I am sure she will flourish at the club with the array of talent we have."
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