England captain Steph Houghton has signed a two-year contract extension with Manchester City, keeping her at the Academy Stadium until 2022.
The 31-year-old joined City in 2014 ahead of the club's maiden Women's Super League campaign, leaving giants of the women's game Arsenal to sign for a club still in their infancy.
The gamble more than paid off for Houghton, who has captained the Citizens to three Continental Cup triumphs, two FA Cups and a league title during her six years in Manchester.
Delighted to sign a new contract extension with @ManCity to 2022! Loved every minute of the last 6 years, it’s been an amazing journey so far, so many memories made and now looking forward to working even harder to make some more at this unbelievable club! #CmonCity pic.twitter.com/4QmASJJh4T— Steph Houghton MBE (@stephhoughton2) January 24, 2020
Speaking to the Manchester City website after penning her new deal, Houghton said: "I'm delighted.
“I came here with the intention of winning trophies, bettering myself as an individual and a player, playing for a team who plays good football and could be the best in England. I believe this club can go as far as it wants to go."
Houghton is one of a number of England players who came through the ranks at Sunderland, breaking into the first team as a 17-year-old, before joining Leeds in 2007 following Sunderland's relegation.
The defender moved to Arsenal in 2010 and won six trophies during a glittering three years in north London.
It was at the 2012 Olympics where Houghton shot to fame, as she scored three goals in the group stages for Team GB from left back, including the winning goal against Brazil at Wembley.
The England centurion has played all over the pitch, only establishing herself as a central defender for club and country later on in her career.
“When I first came [to Man City], I’d only played at centre-half for around six months," Houghton added. "Under Nick’s [Cushing] coaching and with the help of the sports scientists and everyone around the club who had the belief I could be one of the best centre halves in England and Europe, I feel I’ve developed every single year.
“This is the right club for me to continue to improve and I feel I’m in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in."
Houghton's hunt for a fifth FA Cup gets underway on Saturday, as City face Manchester rivals United in the fourth round of the competition.