Reading F.C. Women

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Reading FC Women
Full nameReading Football Club Women
Nickname(s)The Royals, RFCW
Founded2006; 18 years ago (2006)
GroundSelect Car Leasing Stadium
Director of footballDai Yongge & Dai Xiu Li
First-team managerLiam Gilbert
LeagueWomen's Championship
2023–24Women's Championship, 10th of 12
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Reading Football Club Women is an English women's football club affiliated with Reading FC. The Club plays in the Women's Championship, the second tier of English women's football. Reading F.C. Women previously 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 gained entry to an expanded FA WSL in 2014.[1]


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.[2] In their first season they achieved a Southern Region Women's Football League and Cup double[3] 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.[4]

On 3 April 2011 Reading successfully defended the Berks and Bucks County Cup trophy, cruising past Milton Keynes Dons 3–0 in the final.[5]

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.[6] In March 2012 Reading lost top goalscorer Nikki Watts to WSL club Bristol Academy.[7] They finished 9th in the National Division in the 2011–12 season, resulting in their relegation back to the Southern Division for 2012–13.

In 2012–13 Reading FC Women won the FA Premier League Southern Division by eight points and a goal difference of 41,[8] while both the first and reserve team retained the County Cup.[9]

Reading'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 Kazan, Russia. Striker Kirby surpassed the 30-goal mark this season and was also selected for an England under-23s Camp.[10]

Reading were granted a licence to play in the FA Women's Super League 2 from 2014.[9] They won the division in the 2015 season and were promoted to the FA WSL. On 10 December 2015 it was announced that Reading would play their home games at Adams Park, the home of Wycombe Wanderers FC, for the next two seasons.[11]

Reading finished the 2017–18 season in 4th place[12] and 5th in both 2018–19 and 2019–20, reaching the Semi-Final of the FA Women's Cup in 2018–19. The side finished 7th in the 2020–21 season, continuing the steady decline to 8th in 2021–22.[13]

Reading were relegated from the WSL on the final day of the 2022–23 season, losing to Chelsea.[14] Following their relegation, Reading switched to operation on a part-time basis ahead of the 2023–24 Women's Championship.[15]

On 18 August 2023, Reading announced Liam Gilbert as their new First Team Manager.[16]


From 2015, Reading F.C. Women Director of Women's and Girls' Football and First Team Manager was former captain of Reading F.C. Women, Kelly Chambers. Chambers took over from former manager Jayne Ludlow who stepped down to manage Wales. She was assisted by Head Coach Phil Cousins. Both Chambers and Cousins left their respective roles in June 2023.[17][18]


Current squad[edit]

As of 30 April 2024[19]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF Northern Ireland NIR Rachel Dugdale
5 DF England ENG Deanna Cooper
6 DF England ENG Caitlin Smith
7 FW England ENG Charlie Wellings
8 MF England ENG Tia Primmer
9 FW England ENG Madison Perry
10 MF England ENG Ava Kuyken
11 FW Northern Ireland NIR Lauren Wade
15 DF United States USA Brooke Hendrix (captain)
16 DF Cameroon CMR Easther Mayi Kith
17 MF Wales WAL Charlie Estcourt
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 MF England ENG Georgia Wilson
21 MF England ENG Mae Hunt
22 MF England ENG Millie Elwood
24 MF Wales WAL Josie Longhurst
25 GK Northern Ireland NIR Jacqueline Burns
31 DF Wales WAL Bethan Roberts
32 MF England ENG Stevie Kennedy
33 DF England ENG Bella Cox
34 MF England ENG Imogen Poile
36 MF England ENG Tash Rasmussen
41 GK England ENG Eve Annets

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
18 MF England ENG Freya Meadows-Tuson (dual-registration with Maidenhead United)


Reading FC Women currently play at the Madejski Stadium (rebranded as the Select Car Leasing Stadium from 2021), having moved to it before the 2020–21 FA WSL season.[20] Before then, they played at Rushmoor Community Stadium in Farnborough, Hampshire before moving to Adams Park in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The club moved there after they gained promotion to the FA WSL in 2015.[21][22]



  1. ^ "Women's success celebrated".
  2. ^ "Background of our women's team". Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  3. ^ "Women secure league & cup double". Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  4. ^ "Royals celebrate promotion to top flight!". Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  5. ^ "Home of the Royals!".
  6. ^ "Home of the Royals!".
  7. ^ "Vixens announce new signings". Bristol Academy WFC. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Women seal the title".
  9. ^ a b "Women secure cup double".
  10. ^ "Ladies in the limelight!".
  11. ^ @wwfcofficial. "Reading FC Women come to Adams Park".
  12. ^ "England - FA WSL (Women's Super League) 2017/18 Standings".
  13. ^ "England - FA WSL (Women's Super League) 2018/19 Standings".
  14. ^ "Champions again! Chelsea win fourth successive Women's Super League title and condemn Reading to relegation with victory".
  15. ^ "READING FC WOMEN TO OPERATE ON PART-TIME MODEL IN SECOND TIER". Reading F.C. 6 June 2023. Retrieved 6 June 2023.
  16. ^ "LIAM GILBERT TAKES THE REINS OF READING FC WOMEN". Reading F.C. 18 August 2023. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
  17. ^ "KELLY CHAMBERS SET TO LEAVE THE CLUB FOR PASTURES NEW". Reading F.C. 20 June 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  18. ^ "Reading FC Women part company with Phil Cousins". 26 June 2023.
  19. ^ "Reading FC | Women's First Team".
  20. ^ "Reading Women: Top-flight side to move to Madejski Stadium". BBC Sport. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Reading Women to move to Adams Park". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Reading FC Women come to Adams Park - News - Wycombe Wanderers". Retrieved 13 July 2021.

External links[edit]