North Mississauga Panthers striker, and a selection to the 2015 League1 Ontario Next XI, Krista Cellucci has signed a contract with Norwegian First Division side Fotballaget Fart.
Cellucci announced the signing on Wednesday evening, following an extended January trial at the club based in Vang, outside the city of Hamar, in the south-east of Norway.
A club renowned for its outstanding women's section, Fotballaget Fart - which translates to "the football team speed" - typically stocks its squad with homegrown products. Celluci's signing represents a departure from the norm, and a sign of the club's ambition.
"Obviously this is good for 'speed,'" said manager Frode Dalseng, in interview with local publication, HA.
"Not only do we get a good player for the team, but it gives signals far outside the community that we at Fart are working well to get one of the best starts in the league."
"We have to think a little further than just the local area, and I hope this signing gives a signal that we are working hard to strengthen the team with many new players."
A vice-captain at the Panthers, Cellucci's goalscoring exploits were on display in the League1 Ontario season, with seven goals scored - many of them match deciding tallies. Cellucci's textbook "swivel and hit" strike opened the scoring in the final of the 2015 L1 Cup, with North Mississauga ultimately winning the trophy over Vaughan Azzurri.
An alumni of York and Laurier University programs, Cellucci struggled following university to find an appropriate standard of competition to realize her ambition of playing professionally, until the onset of League1 Ontario play through North Mississauga Panthers in 2015.
"Many of the girls in the team were younger, and Krista emailed me following the signing in Norway to personally thank myself and the club for giving her the opportunity to continue," said North Mississauga Panthers' president, Trevor Bertrand.
"She actually said to me that 'League1 gave her the opportunity to fulfill her dreams.'"
"Krista is a goal-scorer, and with the ball at her feet she is always putting the defence under pressure," he added.
"She was constantly speaking to the younger girls and passing on information on how to find scoring opportunities, and she led by example by staying after training ever night refining her finishing."
"She was a big, strong powerful striker that was a threat to every defence. We will really miss her, but I know she will do well in Norway."