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Preston North End are pleased to announce the signing of former Leicester City Women goalkeeper Sophie Le Gros ahead of their FA Women's Cup clash with Rochdale on Sunday.
Sophie, who now studies at Liverpool's John Moores University, will go straight into the Preston side as the club's England Under-19 goalkeeper Danielle Gibbons serves a one match ban after her sending off against Leicester in the last league game.
Head Coach Andy Burgess commented: "Sophie is someone I've known for a while. We tried to take her to Forest when we got promoted to the Premier League but she opted to stay with Leicester. That proves what a good keeper she is, she has the qualities to play at the top level.
"We were in a bit of a pickle due to Danni's suspension and illness to our other keeper, Emma Reader, so Sophie coming on board comes at a perfect time.
"What will happen after this weekend, I don't know. I'd like her to continue with us and fight with Danni and Emma to play in the team. She is keen to get back playing so it seems an ideal scenario for both parties. If she does stay on, which I am confident she will, we will have three of the best keepers in the division, of that there is no doubt.
"Competition for places is essential all over the pitch and to have three keepers pushing each other would be tremendous.
"Danielle has come on so much since the start of the season under the guidance of our goalkeeper coaches Ellis Hawksworth and Edd Yates and it came as no surprise when she was called up for England Under-19s. She now needs to push on and prove she is the best in the division."
The other news from the Lancashire club is the appointment of American Harry Jennings as first team coach, and the departure of John Townson as Assistant Head Coach.
Burgess added: "Harry has made a major impact on the squad since arriving in December. He is yet to see a game due to the weather but he has been watching the DVD's of all our games and dissecting them. He is here for a few months, solely to work for Preston North End Women which is tremendous and he has funded the trip himself which shows the desire of the man having come to the end of the college season in the States.
"He is fantastic to have around the club and on the training pitch and his personality certainly puts a smile on the players faces - and the other coaches! We are very lucky to have him with us.
"John has been offered a job in football research so he felt he couldn't continue with us at this moment. He has been fantastic for me this season so to lose him now is a big disappointment, but work is work and he couldn't turn the offer down. We're lucky that we have just brought Luke Swindlehurst to the club and Harry is also now with us so we have strength in depth coach wise. We all wish John the very best of luck."
Of Sunday's trip to Rochdale, Burgess said: "It will be our third visit to Rochdale this season and again we know we'll be in for a battle. The pitch across there isn't the greatest and doesn't allow for a good passing game of football so therefore we'll roll our sleeves up and prepare for a fight.
"We've gone through the DVD of our previous game with them and highlighted a number of things we feel will aid our preparation. We've been lucky in that, despite the weather, we've not missed an awful lot of training and we fitness tested all of the players this week. In general we were pleased with the results and the players are chomping at the bit to get playing again."
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