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Liverpool confirm first summer signing as 19-year-old joins women’s squad

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Liverpool FC Women are delighted to confirm the signing of Canada international Olivia Smith from Sporting CP.

The 19-year-old, who can play in midfield and attack, put pen to paper on her Reds contract at the AXA Melwood Training Centre, subject to international clearance.

Smith arrives at Liverpool after a sensational first season as a professional in Portugal with Sporting, where she was named Best Young Player of the Campeonato Nacional Feminino.

She produced 13 goals and nine assists from her 18 league appearances as her side secured Women’s Champions League qualification by finishing runners-up to Benfica.

Smith said: “Now that I’m finally here in the facility, I got to see a little bit of Liverpool, I absolutely love it and I’m super-excited.

“It’s definitely a prestigious club as a whole and also for my dad it’s very important for him – this is the club he’s been watching and following since he was younger. So, it’s very cool to actually be a part of this thing and get this opportunity.

“I think it’s super-exciting because we have such a young team and [last] season they were amazing. I’m excited to be a part of a squad like this.”

For Canada, Smith became her country’s youngest-ever player when she debuted aged 15 years and 94 days back in November 2019 and to date has 10 senior caps to her name.

She featured at the 2023 Women’s World Cup and received the Young Player of the Tournament prize at the Concacaf W Gold Cup earlier this year.

Smith played for North Toronto Nitros in her homeland and then at Penn State University before making the switch to Sporting in July 2023.

She continued: “I think the biggest thing for me is, ‘Where can I grow?’ And that comes down to the coach and the staff, and I think Matt [Beard] has proved that he’s definitely someone who can help me grow and this is one of the best leagues in the world.

“Having come here after my first pro season is unbelievable and I’m very excited to learn and grow and become the best that I can be.”

LFC Women manager Beard has been following Smith’s career for some time and spoke of his delight at securing her signature.

He said: “A lot of work has gone into it, we’ve been monitoring her now for the last year-and-a-half.

“I’m excited; fans should be excited by her too. She’s a fantastic talent, and a great personality as well. Hopefully we can see that personality and that talent on the pitch.

“The conversations that we’ve had, the games that we’ve watched, we’re really looking forward to working with her.

“She’s got so many quality attributes – she’s quick, two-footed, [can] score, assist, can tackle. Definitely my type of player.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 18, 2024: Liverpool's manager Matt Beard celebrates after the final FA Women’s Super League game of the season between Leicester City FC Women and Liverpool FC Women at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 4-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I think the first thing that everyone knows we look at is the work ethic, and she’s got that in abundance. Her attitude to want to improve is fantastic. Fingers crossed that she can improve here and kick on from where she left off from Sporting.

“We’re really excited by Olivia.”

Smith will wear the No. 11 shirt for LFC Women in 2024/25 and joins the Reds for an undisclosed fee.

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