With the 2016 term finishing earlier this month, it’s now time for the silly season.
Let’s have a look at the FA WSL 1 transfers so far.
Manchester City are not expected to do a lot of business considering the excellent 2016 year they’ve just had. Finding players improving their squad to become starters will not be an easy task. They have extended Keira Walsh’s contract. There is also a question mark over Toni Duggan who might be out of contract and therefore a free agent.
Chelsea Ladies have not yet made a move, they should be welcoming back from loan Millie Farrow, Jodie Brett and Rosella Ayane and there are other youngsters who are out of contract as well. It will be interesting to see if they will start a new cycle and rebuild or carry on with the present squad and simply add a few more quality players.
Arsenal Ladies have welcomed back Kim Little from Seattle Reign and Carla Humphrey from her loan spell at Doncaster Belles. There is an expectation of a big turnover of players as clearly the squad was too big last year and so far four players have officially left: Casey Stoney, Natalia Pablos Sanchon, Marta Corredera and Vicky Losada. There are question marks over Kelly Smith, Emma Byrne and Rachel Yankey as they seem to be out of contract and close to retirement. Many other players could be also on their way out and others on the way in.
Liverpool Ladies have lost three players so far, Rosie White to Boston and released two players they signed last winter Mandy Van Den Berg the Netherlands captain and Swedish forward Emma Lundh. It’s quite unusual to sign foreign players and then release them a year later. They have not yet made any signings, except for the return of Mayumi Pacheco coming back from her loan spell at Doncaster Belles. But they will surely add to their young and talented squad with just a couple of new players needed to help a maturing and developing squad.
Birmingham City Ladies have not announced any move so far. They made numerous foreign signings mid-season to bed them in and will carry on putting through players from their youth team. Some players are out of contract and might move away.
Notts County Ladies have lost their CEO, the men’s team is still in the selling phase, does it impact on the Ladies team? Potter and Moore are out of contracts six months after signing. After another poor season, it will be interesting to see if there is a big turnover in the playing and coaching staff.
Sunderland Ladies have not announced any move so far. Their talented centre forward, Beth Mead, is contracted until 2019 and might be on the shopping list from other teams. They had a disappointing season in comparison to their initial one and may need new players or tactics as they have now been found out after being the surprise team last year.
Reading Women have added a fifth centreback to their squad with Mandy Van Den Berg coming from Liverpool. Kylie Davies is pregnant and will miss the whole spring Series. It leaves them with Molly Bartrip, Kirsty McGhee and Nia Jones in that position. Jade Boho-Sayo has left to go back to Spain, while there are question marks for goalie Grace Moloney who needs games to be selected for the Republic of Ireland. Reading stayed up as targeted but could have done much better, so certainly needs better players in certain areas, or simply to trust those already there as there have been puzzling choices throughout the season.
Promoted Yeovil Town Ladies have not added anyone yet as they are still in the process of validating their FA WSL 1 license. Once they are selected, they will surely add new players to be able to compete and stay up next season.
Promoted Bristol City Ladies also need to validate their FA WSL 1 license with monetary and marketing criteria the main points. They will lose Jodie Brett and Millie Farrow who have finished their loan and should return to their parent team Chelsea. They have a solid base and are already training on daily basis like all the FA WSL 1 teams. They just need to add the right quality in certain areas.
This will be a bizarre transfer window as the next season will start in September and the spring Series is a kind of dry run before the return to a winter league. The proper transfer window will be starting next June when teams know what they really need and shop around the other markets.