Rachel Yankey signs new Arsenal Ladies contract

England international Rachel Yankey, who has won 26 major honours in her club career, has agreed a new deal with Arsenal Ladies at the age of 36.

Rachel Yankey (England striker as Women's World Cup pundit)
Pundit: Yankey was a studio analyst during TV coverage of the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada (Picture from BBC Sport)

England international Rachel Yankey has agreed a new contract with Arsenal Ladies.

The 36-year-old forward has helped the club win eight league titles, nine FA Cups and one Women’s Uefa Cup among 26 major honours since making her debut in 1996.

She remains a key part of the squad, playing in nine of their 14 WSL matches and throughout their Continental Cup success last season.

Yankey has 129 caps for England’s Lionesses, more than any other player, but has rarely featured since 2013 when Mark Sampson became coach.

The London-born player was part of the Great Britain team at the 2012 Olympics and became an OBE in 2014.

The length of the new deal has not been disclosed.

Yankey says she is looking forward to helping the club to get back to winning silverware and the young players to understand the importance of playing for Arsenal.

“I’m passionate about seeing this team get back to winning ways and see these kids understand the identity of the club,” she told Arsenal.com.

“Every season I have played for this club your mindset is that you have to go out to try and win everything. I have learnt a lot and grown up here.”
A club statement read: “Everyone at the club looks forward to her continued contribution to the team in 2016.”
Boss Pedro Martinez Losa is delighted Yankey has agreed fresh terms and believes she plays an important part in the development of other players.
He told Arsenal.com: “What she brings to the team, on the pitch and off it, means it is very good news for her to be signing a new contract with the club and making her part of our plans. We are very proud of that.
“She can mentor the younger players and she will help the team, like she did in the Continental Cup final last year.”
The news comes four days after player-coach Kelly Smith, 37, also extended her stay with the club.
Arsenal Ladies finished third in the Women’s Super League One last term.

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