Everton stopper Sandy MacIver eyes Champions League spot after signing new deal ahead of Chelsea clash

SANDY MacIVER has agreed to a contract extension with Everton which will keep her at the club until 2023.

And the England goalkeeper cited the Toffees' ambition to compete withEurope's elite teams as one of her reasons for committing to a two-year deal.

The new contract comes weeks after MacIver, 22, made her senior England debut during the team's 6-0 defeat of Northern Ireland.

And it also comes two months after gaffer Willie Kirk agreed to extend his reign at the club who are due to play Chelsea.

But it remains to be seen if MacIver will be part of the squad that takes on the champions after she went off injured during the Toffees's 4-0 win against Birmingham.

MacIver told Everton's web site: "I’m really excited to be at the club for another two years.

"The Champions League is where we want to be. I really believe the foundations are in place to do that.

"I don’t see why we can’t break into that top three or four in the WSL and cement ourselves as a top side in Europe.

"Willie signing his new contract at the end of last year was a real statement, too, and shows his belief in where the club is going.

"Willie has made it clear of his intent with the players he’s brought in."

"That was another big reason for me wanting to stay."

Kirk, 42, has high hopes for MacIver who has kept five clean sheets in 14 WSL games for Everton this term.

The Toffees boss reckons the Lionesses starlet has the potential to become one of the best keepers in the world rivalling the likes of Chelsea's Ann-Katrin Berger and Lyon's Sarah Bouhaddi.

Kirk said: "I've been very vocal with my praise and support of Sandy this season.

“Being a young goalkeeper, she still has lots of development to go through.

“She is very much a modern goalkeeper, in terms of her physique, speed and distribution skills – and over the coming years she will gain crucial experience which will aid her decision-making."

MacIver, whose team are fifth in the top tier, began her career in Everton's Academy at 15, before joining Man City's Under-16s for the 2015-16 season.

The WSL ace went on to play for US side Clemson Tigers for three years making 55 appearances before returning to Merseyside in 2020.

And the Cheshire-born stopper relishes competing with Finland international Tinja-Riikka Korpela for a starting place between the sticks for the Toffees.

MacIver added: “Being at Everton has been pivotal in my progression over the past year.

"Working with the coaching staff and a goalkeeper like Tinny [Korpela] – we push each other every day in training – has helped me so much.

"On a personal level, the ultimate goal is to be England’s number one. I really believe being an Everton player can help me achieve that."

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MacIver and her team-mates' resolve will be tested against Chelsea who trounced Bristol City 6-0 in the Conti Cup final.

The last league clash between the two sides ended in a crushing 4-0 win for Emma Hayes' side

And the Toffees are "hopeful" they will be able host the fixture after their Walton Hall Park ground was set alight on Friday.

It took fire crews half an hour to quell the blaze which investigations have reportedly shown was started on purpose.

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