Talented teenage striker Elise Hughes has signed her first professional contract with Everton Ladies - and been handed the coveted number nine jersey for the new campaign.
Welsh international Hughes made her senior Everton debut aged 16 in February 2018 and established herself in Willie Kirk’s first-team squad last term.
The converted defender, a graduate from Everton’s academy, was crowned Wales’ young player of the year following her impressive 2018/19 campaign.
Hughes’s new two-year deal ties her to the Club until at least summer 2021 and is a boost for Everton ahead of the start of their WSL campaign next month.
The lifelong Evertonian said: “For me to become a professional footballer is everything, it’s what I’ve dreamed of as a kid.
“I’ve been an Evertonian for as long as I can remember. From the moment when I signed as a young kid, to now, it’s meant everything to me.
“I want to repay the faith in my manager for giving me my first professional contract, I want to play as many games as I can and score goals for Everton.”
Hughes added: “I didn’t know if the number nine shirt was guaranteed but when the squad numbers were announced I was in shock because I’m so young. I’m just happy to wear any shirt as long as it’s an Everton one.”
Hughes scored her first senior goal for the Club in last December’s Merseyside derby win at Liverpool, a moment the passionate Blue says she will treasure forever.
“I still think that was the best day of my life,” she adds. “I remember when the goal went in and I just turned around and all my teammates were jumping on me and I think they knew how much it meant to me being an Evertonian and scoring my first goal against Liverpool.”