Reading FC Women’s Kristine Leine spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about the influx of oversees players to the Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League.
Norwegian international Leine was interviewed by Woman’s Hour host Jenni Murray alongside BBC Women’s Sports Reporter Jo Currie on what has attracted some of the biggest names in women’s football to the top English league.
Fifty oversees players have been signed by WSL clubs so far this season, including five World Cup winners from the United States national side, the most high-profile, perhaps, being the recent loan acquisition of Alex Morgan by Tottenham Women.
“The WSL is a very competitive league,” Leine said, “so when I got the opportunity last year, I just couldn’t say no”.
On the difference between top-flight football in England compared to her native Norway, Leine said “I think the biggest difference is the intensity. I also think that in England the players are older, so they are more experienced, whereas in Norway they retire very early as they are not making any money, so they need to find another job to make a living.”
“It wasn’t fun to not play,” the defender said when the subject switched to the abrupt end of the 2019-20 WSL season back in May due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. “But I think everyone was just thinking about the bigger issue in the world, which was of course, covid. But yes, of course, we’re footballers and it is never good to not be able to play.”
When asked to sum up the beginning of the Royals’ 2020-21 season so far, Leine said, “We had a tough game at the beginning against Arsenal. They are a great team and we lost that game, but we then went onto beat Aston Villa, which was great. I think that we can be better this season; I think we have better players and it’s going to be exciting to see where we go.”
The full episode of Woman’s Hour, featuring Kristine Liene, can be found here.
Reading FC Women are next in action on Sunday October 4th when they take on West Ham in a Women’s Super League clash at Chigwell Constructions Stadium.