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In line with all the excitement that went on during transfer deadline day, Bristol Academy made a last minute dash to Holland to successfully sign the Dutch International Anouk Hoogendijk from FC Utrecht just minutes before the international transfer window closed.
A contingent from the Club flew out of Bristol airport at the weekend to meet agents to seal the deal with the international super star who is also a "Nike Athlete".
Hoogendijk, at 25, is at the peak of her game. She made her debut for her local side, Saestum, at 20 and helped them secure the Dutch Championship and Supercup in 2005 and 2006.
A move to FC Utrecht, the Club she supported as a young girl, beckoned in 2007 where she became team captain. Anouk achieved more success in 2010 when Utrecht won both the Dutch Supercup and KNVB Cup.
Anouk can play in the centre of defence or in midfield, roles she has performed for Holland over the last four years and in the European Championships in 2009. She has 59 caps for her Country and has scored six times.
Mark Sampson, Head Coach of Bristol Academy, said: "Anouk is a talented and experienced professional with a superb pedigree. She is one of the best known sportswomen in Holland and is recognised worldwide as one of only a handful of "Nike Athletes". She will be a fantastic addition to our squad and will be a great ambassador for the Club."
In addition to Anouk, Sampson also signed two other Dutch-based British players in Jessica Fishlock, 24 and Alex Culvin, 27.
Jess is a current Welsh International with 36 caps. Alex, 27, is English and plays with Jess at Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. S he has previously played for Leeds and Everton.
Mark Sampson added: "Jess has played for Bristol Academy in the past and is very excited to come "home". She is experienced at senior International level and I am sure she will flourish in the new Women's Super League. Alex is a very strong attacking midfielder.
All three players will join the rest of the squad in late February. They are all expected to take part in the opening of the Club's new Stoke Gifford Stadium on 19 March.
Bristol Academy have also announced that they have captured the signing of Watford defender Lillie Bilson.
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