Gemma Davies’ side has been bolstered with the arrival of Maierhofer following her scholarship in the states.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa Women boss Gemma Davies has bolstered her squad before the final run towards the end of the FA Women’s Championship season, acquiring Austrian international Sophie Maierhofer following her scholarship with the University of Kansas in the United States.
The 23-year-old has previously stepped out for Werder Bremen and Icelandic side UMF Selfoss, and is capped at a senior level for Austria after representing them at the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro’s, as well as in a number of Women’s World Cup qualification games.
Her arrival will add depth in two areas, with Maierhofer able to play in both defence and midfield and could be likened to new team-mate Marisa Ewers – a player she will likely find provides some home comforts with Ewer’s experience of German women’s football.
Head Coach Gemma Davies firmly believes that Sophie Maierhofer is the type of person and player that the club are looking to sign moving forwards, a player that can fit seamlessly into the squad whilst providing international level experience as well as much more with her style of play.
“We’ve got a team full of players who are eager to achieve success and Sophie will fit into the group perfectly,” said Davies.
Whilst Maierhofer is not necessarily a marquee signing, she adds a new dynamic to the squad in becoming Aston Villa’s first fully fledged international, with much of the squad previously playing, or currently playing, for the youth squads of their respective nationalities.
Looking back to yesteryear, despite Maierhofer’s lack of experience in the English game – the signing of a full international would have been out of reach for the Aston Villa Women. Now they’re flying high in the Championship and look to cement themselves at members of the Women’s Super League, this type of signing is one that fans should probably get used to.
Speaking to club media, Maierhofer was clear that it was a huge opportunity for her, and that she was excited to be a part of a rapidly growing sport in this country.
“I feel grateful for the opportunity to join such a big and traditional club with big ambitions and goals.”
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to play in England. The women’s game here has made big improvements over recent years and I’m looking forward to making a new experience here.”