Posted on: Wed 27 Nov 2013

Chelsea Ladies are delighted to announce the signing of England international Laura Bassett.

Bassett, a defender, joins from Birmingham City Ladies and goes straight in to the squad which departs for the International Women's Club Championship in Japan this Saturday.

The former Birmingham captain has enjoyed a successful career to date, representing her country on 33 occasions, including at the 2009 and 2013 European Championships as well as the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

At club level, Bassett has been a key member of every club she has represented, with her second stint at Birmingham seeing her lift the 2012 FA Women's Cup as well as successive FA WSL and Continental Cup runners-up spots.

'The move is absolutely brilliant and I can't wait to get started. It's great that we've got an opportunity like Japan to get straight in to the action rather than have to wait until pre-season,' said Bassett, who began her career at Coventry and has also represented Arsenal.

'Chelsea is a massive club with a big-club mentality so it is a new challenge for me, which is exciting. The staff and the players are really ambitious here so for me to be part of that is something I am over the moon with.

'Japan is a fantastic opportunity, it is the time of the year where we tend to relax physically and mentally but when an opportunity like this comes along you have to take it to experience the culture, the travel and to play in a tournament like it.

'It's a great chance to settle in and meet the team both on and off the pitch so when January comes around it makes that transition much easier.

'This is an exciting chapter in my career and I want to see if I can be part of something successful again with a new club. I want to be part of getting this club where it wants to be.'

Bassett becomes the latest new addition to Chelsea Ladies manager Emma Hayes' squad, with fellow England international Rachel Williams also joining the club earlier this month.

Hayes is excited to welcome the 30-year-old to the club as she continues to mould her squad ahead of next year's Women's Super League, which gets underway in April.

'We're fortunate enough to have signed a wonderful leader in Laura,' she said. 'Her wealth of experience will bring Chelsea's performances to another level.

'We are always interested in good people as well as good players at this football club and Laura certainly fits that profile.

'Bass is a quality defender and we're all looking forward to working with her. The tournament in Japan will be a great way to integrate her in to the group.'