Jen Beattie is here to stay in north London after signing a new contract on Friday.
The experienced defender plays an important role at the club both on and off the pitch, so when it came to making a decision on her future over the summer, there was only ever one place on her mind; Arsenal.
"I’m so proud to still be a part of it and to keep going at this incredible club," said Beattie after putting pen to paper on a new deal. "I’m happy here, I love the club, I love the group of people I work with, from players, staff and everyone behind the team.
"the way the club has progressed over the last few seasons is just really cool to be a part of and it was just no brainer for me. I didn’t want to move anywhere, I wanted to stay put.
"When I came back in 2019 that was always pretty apparent that we had a special group and I think that’s just grown further and further and flourished massively. I’ve got proper friendships here and I can’t emphasise enough, it’s not just the players, it’s the staff as well and I think the whole coaching group and everyone behind the team in the offices and stuff are just class, so it’s the bigger picture for me. Of course it’s the product on the pitch and how much I enjoy training, but ultimately it’s who you work with that makes it the most enjoyable, so for sure, that’s a huge factor."
After a demanding 2022/23 season, Beattie has also had some time to reflect on our development and progress as a group.
"Last year was a bizarre season, wasn’t it? It started really positively and getting a trophy early on in February with the Conti Cup was huge for us and obviously injuries started to creep in and all of a sudden I was playing every week, which was a really bizarre situation to be in especially at the business end of the season, but I’ll say it again, it’s scary to think what we can achieve as a team and as a club if everyone is fully fit and the players we’ve brought in already over the summer, again, it’s really exciting to be a part of it.
"I feel like the season ended pretty abruptly, so it’s always nice to kind of collect your thoughts and process what’s happened, but no matter what happened, I’m still so incredibly proud of what we achieved and getting to the Champions League considering the amount of players we had out and the mentality that we showed towards the end of the season was unreal, so yeah, I'm looking forward to next season already.
"I think just getting a taste (of playing again) was probably one of then best feelings. I didn’t get many opportunities to showcase what I can do at the start of the season, so whenever I did I was always trying to show what I can do or just enjoy it, but I think I’ve been through enough off the pitch to know that enjoyment is number one in football.
"To have that amount of games towards the end of the season, I did just try and embrace it as much as possible and I genuinely did love it. It was probably the least anxious I’ve ever been playing because I was like ‘what’s the worst that can happen? It will be fine’. I absolutely loved it, so yeah, I did get a taste for playing, I absolutely loved it, so I’m buzzing to extend it."
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