On the day of her 18th birthday, it was announced that one of our very own in Grace Ede has signed a new contract with Sunderland AFC.
The contract will see Ede finish off her education next summer and then move into a professional contract in the full-time model.
It is a fantastic statement of intent from the club to secure the youngster at Sunderland and offer her a professional contract, considering she was on a dual registration with Women’s Super League giants, Manchester City.
We are delighted to announce that Grace Ede has signed a new contract with the Club!— Sunderland AFC Women (@SAFCWomen) October 6, 2023
Congratulations, Grace! #SAFCWomen
Ede’s rise has been astronomical and incredible to witness over the last two seasons. She was initially part of the Sunderland Regional Talent Centre setup, when she was called up to the women’s senior side by Melanie Reay. Despite only being 16 at the time, Ede has developed leaps and bounds since playing competitive football and has already played 32 times for Sunderland, including five consecutive starts this season.
Not only has Ede already demonstrated wonderful finesse, technicality and passion, the left winger has illustrated her leadership skills on the international stage when she was chosen to captain England U-19’s against the Republic of Ireland Under-19s earlier on in the year.
Whilst she may be a young and raw talent, Grace Ede has already shown glimpses of brilliance, intelligence and confidence, illustrating a great trajectory of improvement and refinery in her skills and ability.
Cutting in from the left in quest of opportunities to create chances for teammates, she is at ease anywhere on the front line. What makes Ede stand out the most is the unwavering focus with which she pursues goal and the ease with which she rips through defences with the ball.
She reminds me of a young Andrej Kramaric or Papu Gomez: an agile, tenacious, and immensely gifted wide player who can be disruptive. The significant benefits and ongoing thrill that come with this form of play more than make up for the fact that it may not always pay off.
Ede exudes confidence in her own abilities as she performs a variety of techniques from her repertoire, a view that Mel Reay clearly shares by tying her down to a professional contract.
Ede can only develop further and hone her artistry and technical aptitude by playing senior football against older and more experienced players. She does not look out of place and her teammates clearly have a great deal of trust, pride and confidence in the young starlet and can only benefit from having such strong support across the players and technical staff.
The future certainly looks bright for Ede and it is a privilege to see her grow within our squad.