Reading F.C. Women
|Full name||Reading Football Club Women|
|Ground||Paddy Power Park,
|League||FA WSL 2|
|2012–13||1st, FA Women's Premier League Southern Division (promoted)|
Reading Football Club Women is an English women's football club affiliated with Reading F.C.. The club currently play in FA WSL 2. The club played in the FA Women's Premier League National Division after being promoted from the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division, which they were relegated to at the end of the 2011–12 season. They had previously won promotion to the National Division from the Southern Division in 2009/10. They have gained Super League status for 2014.
Reading FC began an association with women's football when it affiliated with Reading Royals LFC (previously Twyford Comets) in 1988. In May 2006, Reading ended this affiliation and started their own women's team, Reading FC Women. In their very first season they achieved a Southern Region Women's Football League and Cup double and were promoted to the South West Combination Women's Football League. They followed this with an unbeaten 2007–08 League season to gain promotion to the Premier League Northern Division (in which they competed due to an overload at the Southern).
After finishing sixth in the Northern Division, Reading were transferred to the Southern Division for the 2009–10 season. In 2010 they won their last four games of the season to finish runners–up to Barnet and secure promotion to the FA Women's Premier League National Division.
On Sunday 3 April 2011 Reading Women successfully defended the Berks and Bucks County Cup trophy, cruising past Milton Keynes Dons 3–0 in the final.
Their first season in the FA Women's Premier League National Division (the second highest league, following the formation of the Women's Super League) saw Reading finish third. In March 2012 Reading lost top goalscorer Nikki Watts to WSL club Bristol Academy. They finished 9th in the National Division in the 2011–12 season, resulting in their releagtion back to the Southern Division for the 2012–13 season.
Reading FC Women's top scorer in 2012–13, Fran Kirby, was rewarded for her campaign by being named as Player of the Season – as well as receiving a call up to play for Great Britain in the World University Games in Russia. Kirby surpassed the 30-goal mark this season. The striker was also selected for an England under-23s Camp.
From 2014 Reading FC Women have been granted to play in the FA Women's Super League 2.
On 3 August 2014 Fran Kirby got her England career off to a dream start with a player of the match performance by scoring on debut against Sweden in a 4-0 win. Fran was handed her international debut today by England manager, Mark Sampson. The Royals striker has been in magnificent form for her club this season and deservedly got the England call-up to face Sweden in a friendly.She has previously been called up to the England squad, as well as being a key member of the England U23 side. Kirby was the only FAWSL 2 player to make it into the England squad.,
On 11 August 2014 Fran Kirby was called up again into Mark Sampson's 23-person England squad for a third time in a row as the Three Lions prepare to take on Wales in Cardiff. Kirby, who made her debut against Sweden earlier this month, has continued her impressive form for the Royals. Her hat-trick against Watford was clearly enough reason for Sampson to keep faith with Fran. Fran produced a player-of-the-match performance against Sweden on her debut and even managed to get on the score sheet.
Reading F.C. Women Director of Women's and Girls' Football and First Team Manager is former Arsenal and Welsh football player and coach Jayne Ludlow. Ludlow represented Arsenal for 13 years, and captained the Welsh national team until her international retirement in 2012. Ludlow played as a midfielder and remains Arsenal's all-time record goalscorer. Jayne is assisted by Kelly Chambers, former captain of Reading F.C. Women and Manager. She is Reading FC Women General Manager and Assistant 1st Team Manager. Kelly took over from former manager Phil Cousins who stepped down in 2012.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- South West Combination Women's Football League:
- Winners (1): 2007/08
- FA Women's Premier League Southern Division:
- Winners (1): 2012/13
- "Background of our women's team". readingfc.co.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
- "Women secure league & cup double". readingfc.co.uk. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
- "Royals celebrate promotion to top flight!". readingfc.co.uk. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
- "Vixens announce new signings". Bristol Academy WFC. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.