Kelly Chambers side will make their first visit to Manchester this season, when Man City Women play at home to the sixth placed team on Friday night.
Reading FC Women was founded in 2006 after the club had spent three years planning and developing their girls centre of excellence in partnership with Reading Girls FC. The club’s COE had produced several international youth players, with more rising through the ranks but with nowhere to allow them to play senior team football.
In their first season (2006-2007), Reading won the Southern Region Premier Division with the team becoming the South West England Champions when they won the South West Combination League; finishing the campaign unbeaten.
During 2008 and 2009, both the reserve and first teams were playing in their respective premier football leagues for the first time, the first team voted into the FA Premier League Northern Division finishing 6th. They then gained promotion to the FA Women’s Premier League National Division after coming runners up in the Southern Division.
The 2010/11 season was Reading’s first season in the FA Women’s Premier League National Division where they would play against the top sides, finishing 3rd. However the first team were relegated in 2011/12 to the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division on goal difference, meaning they would play the 2012/13 season in the tier below.
Despite relegation, the team were successful and they won the league after they beat Millwall Lionesses.
The team won a place in the FA Women’s Super League 2 ahead of 2014 and in their inaugural season under Jayne Ludlow and assistant Kelly Chambers, Reading finished 3rd behind Sunderland AFC Ladies and Doncaster Rovers Belles. Ludlow left at the end of 2014 for the Welsh Women’s National Team while Fran Kirby became the WSL 2 Player of the Season and top goal scorer.
Kirby left for Chelsea FC Women in 2015 and while they lost their top scorer, Reading went on to score the most goals in WSL 2, secure promotion with 2 games remaining and win the FA WSL 2 title on the final day of the season.
The team finished fourth last season, their highest ever WSL 1 finish and have won 2 games in the WSL so far this season. They lost 6-0 to Arsenal at the weekend and will be looking to get a better result when they visit Manchester on Friday.
Reading lost goalkeeper Mary Earps to German side VfL Wolfsburg at the end of last season and her understudy Grace Moloney has stepped up, Chambers also signing Rachael Laws from Sunderland. Fara Williams signed with the club last season and is already their top goal scorer with four goals in eight games and will be a key player for them when they visit. Two other great signing were those of Gemma Davison from Chelsea and U20 bronze medallist Mayumi Pacheco, whose move to the club became official on the day of the U20 World Cup squad announcement; signing from Doncaster Rovers Belles.
Meanwhile City are unbeaten in the WSL and also put 6 goals past Brighton in the most recent round of fixtures. Karen Bardsley, Mie Jans, Demi Stokes, Megan Campbell and Pauline Bremer will most likely be out for the fixture while Lauren Hemp is probable.
Kick off is at 7pm at the Academy Stadium after the fixture time was changed. Season cards have now been sent out and holders should have received their package.