Reading FC Women are beginning to reshape and renovate now that the 2020-21 season is in the rear-view mirror, and are looking to the future in the top flight of women’s football.
Following Fara Williams’ retirement and Angharad James leaving for a new challenge at North Carolina Courage, the long serving duo of Lauren Bruton and Molly Bartrip will also be exiting the club.
Striker Bruton has been unlucky with injuries, missing the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign, as well as the tail end of 2020-21. She returned to the squad in September for the beginning of the most recent campaign and netted 3 times.
Defender Bartrip had an extended spell on the side-lines in 2019-20 herself, before returning to regular full-time action for the Royals, and celebrated her 100th appearance for the club back in February. Bruton and Bartrip have been with the club since 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Another player moving on is Norwegian Kristine Leine. After being offered a contract extension, Leine has decided to return home back Norway to be closer to her family. The defender joined Kelly Chambers’ Royals just under two years ago from her homeland side Røa IL.
Goalkeeper Erin Nayler also leaves Reading. New Zealander Nayler – who played just once for the Royals in a 3-0 loss to West Ham – signed just before the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
Finally, young players Silvana Flores and Molly Childerhouse will also move onto pastures new as they seek to gain regular football.
“I am so grateful to all of the players,” Manager Kelly Chambers said. “Some of them have been with us for a very long time, like Lauren and Molly, and their contribution and dedication to the team has been fantastic.
“Each one of them – regardless of if they have made a hundred appearances or were squad players that hadn’t had many minutes – were a huge part of the team and always gave everything, which is all I could ever ask of them. We are a unit and it is always sad to see players go, but I wish each and every one of them well in whatever their next steps are.
“This season has been inconsistent for us to say the least, and one we have to learn a lot from. We do have highlights from 2020-21 which include us holding the distinction of being the first side to defeat Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village in over a year. Recruitment has been going on for a while now as I need to make sure that I mould a first team squad capable of pushing us higher in the league. We have traditionally always competed up there and we need to work hard to get back there.”
Reading FC Women wishes the very best of luck to all the exiting players in their future endeavours.