Former England youth defender joins Tractor Girls
- Credit: Ross Halls
Former Championship and England youth defender Olivia Smith has joined Ipswich Town Women for the new season.
The 21-year-old has previous second tier experience with Charlton Athletic and London Bees.
In moving to town Smith reunited with boss Joe Sheehan who previously coached her at Barking Abbey Girls.
In her youth the defender also had spells with Millwall, West Ham and Chelsea at youth level before moving to the University of Oklahoma.
After returning to the UK Smith joined Matt Beard's West Ham in the summer of 2020.
She later joined London Bees, featuring in a handful of games before deciding to join fellow Championship side Charlton Athletic. Olivia held down a regular starting spot in the Addicks' side under the stewardship of Karen Hills and went on to play 20 times across the season.
Smith has international experience winning 16 caps at U16 to U19 level and played with big names in the game including Norfolk superstar Lauren Hemp and Lauren James.
She turned down a contract extension at the end of the season after Charlton outlined intentions to turn fully professional, which ultimately clashed with Olivia's career as a police officer.
"It's an amazing opportunity to come here and I am so excited to be part of this club," Smith told the club on social media.
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"I've known Joe since I was 15 and I heard about this opportunity for a few years now and thought it was right for me to come now.
"The club is going places and just turned professional so it's a really exciting opportunity to be a part of."
Her transfer to town coincides with her joining up with Essex Police force where she has completed her initial training.
She is now a member of the Grays Local Policing Team and will be working with the force alongside her Town duties.