Whilst all eyes are on the men’s side and the transfer business they’re conducting, the Lincoln City women’s team have made a transfer coup of their own.
Described by manager Richard Cooper as a ‘pivotal moment’, hometown girl Ellie Gilliatt has signed a deal which will bring her back to the city after a stellar career in the game. Ellie has represented England at Under 23 level and skippered Sheffield United Women in the FA Women’s Championship as well as playing for Derby County.
“The signing of Ellie Gilliatt, I believe, is a pivotal moment in the progression of Lincoln City Women FC,” said manager Richard Cooper.
“Ellie not only brings with her undoubted quality as a player on the pitch but also the added bonus of a wealth of top-level experiences off the pitch, from the higher levels of the game. This level of knowledge will be hugely positive, especially for the younger players to learn from and shows clarity on what it takes to play in the higher echelons of the women’s game.
“Ellie is a player I have known for many years and I have followed her career closely, so to get the chance for us to team up again at this stage whilst Ellie is at the top of her game is fantastic for the Club and the City. Ellie joining us draws a line in the sand as to the ambition of the board, the professionalism of the coaching team, overall quality of players we now have and the increased progression of Lincoln City Women FC, “
Ellis began her career with Doncaster Belles and Blackburn before appearing for Lincoln but later moved to Nottingham Forest to progress her career further. She is best known for her stint in Sheffield, both with Sheffield FC and the Blades. Ellie helped the former to secure three FA WPL League titles, four County Cups, an FA WPL League Cup and was part of the team that secured promotion to FA WSL in 2015. In 2018, she became the third player ever to pass the milestone of 200 first-team appearances.
Ellie has played as a full-back for much of her career, but is an attack-minded player, contributing to over 60 goals for Sheffield FC where she is the sixth-highest scorer of all-time. It’s believed she will take on an attacking role with Lincoln City Women, looking to lead from the front and act as a role model for the younger players coming through.
Ellie is the third signing in 24 hours, with Ellie Scotland and Leah Hardy both signing on yesterday. Of Ellie Scotland, manager Richard Cooper said: “A huge threat with electrifying pace and can cross the ball on the run amongst the best I have ever seen. A fantastic addition to the squad as it grows in depth and quality.” Meanwhile, Leah is a former Worksop and Sheffield FC player who has been with the club in pre-season and is described by Richard as an ‘absolute baller’.
Earlier in pre-season, the Imps also added three other new faces. Ashleigh Housley-Stott signed for the club from Welsh Premier League side Abergavenny, Hollie Lewis joins from Peterborough United and Alivia Chambers comes from Leicester City of the Championship.