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Reading Women's squad: best player, manager, and WSL record

Reading Women's squad
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Reading Women's squad are one of only two Championship sides who have women's teams in the top flight. The Royals have certainly punched above their weight in this league in the past but will be without legendary midfielder Fara Williams this season, after she announced her retirement.

Reading Women's squad

  • GK: Grace Moloney
  • GK: Rhiannon Stewart
  • DF: Faye Bryson
  • DF: Emma Mitchell
  • DF: Gemma Evans
  • DF: Deanna Cooper
  • DF: Lily Woodham
  • DF: Bethan Roberts
  • MF: Chloe Peplow
  • MF: Deanne Rose
  • MF: Natasha Harding
  • MF: Rachel Rowe
  • FW: Gae-ul Jeon
  • FW: Amalie Eikeland
  • FW: Natasha Dowie
  • FW: Emma Harries
  • FW: Brooke Chaplen
  • FW: Justine Vanhaevermaet

Reading Women's squad: Squad profile

Reading have long prided themselves on their ability to bring players through their academy system and into the first team, with their most successful graduate being Fran Kirby. This year's squad continues that trend with players like Emma Harries and Bethan Roberts looking to establish themselves more firmly within the first team. 

The signing of Deanne Rose also means that Reading will be adding an Olympic Gold medallist to the squad. The Canadian Rose was selected 10th overall in the NWSL draft by the North Carolina Courage but signed a two year deal with Reading instead.  The 22 year old midfielder scored in the Olympic final penalty shoot out and has big shoes to fill with Reading have lost both Jess Fishlock and Fara Williams from their midfield.

Reading have also brought in two quite different forwards to replace Danielle Carter who was sold to Brighton. Natasha Dowie has returned to the WSL after five years away, having scored pretty much non-stop wherever she has played. Meanwhile, Justine Vanhaevermaet has joined from LSV Kinner and is much less of a goalscorer. The 29 year old has ten caps for Belgium. 

Reading have shown in the past that they have the ability to cause an upset in the WSL but manager Kelly Chambers will be hoping that they can show a bit more consistency this season. If so, they could improve on their 7th placed finish from last year. 

Reading Women's squad: Who's Reading's best player?

Natasha Harding

Welsh veteran and Reading captain Natasha Harding is one of the most versatile players in the WSL, with the ability to play at fullback or up front. Her three goals and three assists last season was her most productive attacking contribution in a Reading shirt. 

Reading Women's squad: Who is Reading's manager?

Kelly Chambers

Kelly Chambers is Reading through and through, having captained the side when they were in the lower divisions. After an ACL injury ended her career, Chambers became Director of Women's football at the club and began managing them. Although she briefly stepped aside to be Jayne Ludlow's assistant, Chambers has been the first-team manager since 2014.

Reading Women's squad: Reading's WSL record

Reading were promoted to the WSL in 2016, and despite only winning one game in that first season, have stayed there ever since. Their highest place finish was fourth in 2017/18 but over the past couple of seasons, other clubs have outstripped Reading when it comes to spending, and the side finished seventh last season.