Last Sunday’s return of fans to Madejski wasn’t the only notable moment of Reading FC Women’s match against Bristol City, as seventeen-year-old Bethan Roberts made her first team debut.
On the 80th minute, in front of the first home crowd that Reading FC Women have seen since before the covid-19 pandemic, Bethan Roberts replaced Fara Williams to get her very first few minutes as a first-team player.
Roberts, who has been at the club since the age of nine, joins the likes of Kiera Skeels, Sophie Quirk and Emma Harries, who have all made the transition from academy to first-team over the last couple of seasons, proving once again that there is a clear pathway at Reading Football Club.
“I am so happy to have made my debut,” Roberts said, talking on her momentous occasion. “After years of dreaming of that moment, for it to actually happen is unbelievable. The fans made me feel at ease straight away and it was so good to see them after ten months without a crowd.”
Manager Kelly Chambers said, “Having our fans there was such nice way to welcome Bethan Roberts into her debut. When you’ve got a seventeen-year-old and an eighteen-year-old in Emma Harries, coming onto the pitch for you, the future is definitely bright at the club. Bethan has worked so hard, so congratulations to her.”
Academy Manager Rob Gier also had a lot of praise for Roberts, saying “Bethan has been at the club for eight years now and she has always been a player for whom we had high expectations. She possesses many strong attributes as a defender and her qualities when in possession have always made her one to watch. Bethan was exposed to the first-team environment at a young age and this has certainly help expedite her development both physically and tactically. She has managed to follow a dual career pathway juggling her studies and footballing ambitions and we are delighted that our player pathway has produced yet another first-team player.”
Reading FC Women take on Manchester United on Sunday at Madejski for a 12.30pm kick-off. Tickets are on General Sale and can be purchased here. The cut-off to receive your tickets in the post is Thursday at 3pm, after that time you will only be able to Print-at-Home.