SAINTS Women have announced the signing of former Sheffield United defender Tara Bourne as the club's third summer addition.

The centre-back arrives after leaving the fellow Championship side, where she made 17 appearances in the 2023/24 campaign.

Despite still being just 20 years old, she has already amassed a wealth of experience in the second tier after coming through the ranks at Manchester United.

After putting pen to paper on the move, Bourne said: "Having conversations with the staff here, my plans aligned with theirs.

"I feel like together we can work towards big things, I'm excited for this season. The Championship's a different ball game at times.

Defender Tara Bourne signs for SaintsDefender Tara Bourne signs for Saints (Image: Southampton FC)

"You need different types of experience to win games - I feel like all my experience will come together to help the team."

After progressing through United's academy and signing her first professional contract in 2021, she made her senior debut before heading out on loan.

Spells with Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers, and Birmingham City followed over the next couple of seasons before joining the Blades permanently last year.

With well over 50 senior appearances under her belt, as well as international experience with England's youth age groups up to the under-23s, Bourne heads to the South Coast for the next step of her career.

Director of women’s football, Marieanne Spacey-Cale added: “I'm delighted we've been able to secure Tara's signature.

"She brings a combination of youth and experience already gained in her career despite still being just 20 years old.

"She already knows a few of the squad from international duty, and is well versed in this league as well which are both key factors for her hopefully arriving and adding a positive impact this season."