A top St Ives Rangers prospect has earned a contract with Leicester City.

Midfielder Molly Sutherland (14) - a star for the local club's excellent Under 15 girls' side as they lifted the Cambs Women's & Girls League Cup crown last season - came through recent trials to earn a spot in the Foxes' Category 1 Girls Academy. She will now train with Leicester three times each week and play in matches against other academy sides at weekends.

Sutherland, a pupil at St Peter's School in Huntingdon, said: "I have enjoyed a great couple of seasons playing for St Ives Rangers, developing my technique and tactical awareness. They helped me to become quicker when making decisions and to not always play safe.

"I now feel more confident moving out of my comfort zone. All of this has helped me improve enormously, and I feel like a new player. I can't thank St Ives Rangers enough!"

Sutherland is one of a number of exciting prospects in the Rangers set-up. The club has recently announced a link with neighbours St Ives Town which will see highly-rated female players given opportunities to test themselves alongside boys.

Coach Darren Marjoram said: "Molly has worked so hard to improve during her time with St Ives Rangers and everyone at the club is delighted to see her win a place at Leicester.

"We are a club that wants to offer local girls the opportunity to progress and follow their dreams in football. The link with St Ives Town is only going to help that.

"Molly is another example of St Ives being the place to be for talented female footballers in this area. I am so proud of Molly for achieving what she has so far, and we look forward to following her continued progress."

St Ives Rangers Under 15s reached the final of the Leicester City Women's 7s Tournament last Saturday. They were pipped by a solitary goal against Allerton in the showpiece clash.

They earlier topped their qualifying group with five wins and three draws before beating Braunstone in a penalty shoot-out at the semi-final stage. Keeper Sophie Marjoram starred with three spot-kick saves and also scored a penalty herself.

St Ives Rangers are keen to add to the squad in which Sutherland played. Interested girls in school years 9 and 10 should email darren.marjoram@ntlworld.com