Last year’s huge first team squad size meant the development team was short in players and the same thing is happening again.
Following Lucy Parker’s departure to study in the USA, the development team is now reduced to 13 players, an incredibly small number that does not allow much leeway for injuries or suspension.
You wonder if the club will try to add more players to that squad or simply will not bother, simply forfeiting games when there are not enough players available.
Here is the full squad list as of today:
GK: Sian Rogers, Amelia Houghton-Boyle
DF: Shannon Cooke, Taylor Hinds, Anna Patten, Chiara Ritchie-Williams, Lotte Wubben-Moy
MF: Chloe Brunton- Wild, Anna Filbey, Laura Hooper, Kalani Peart
FW: Tinaya Alexander, Rianna Dean
There are three first team players who can play for the Development team as it is an U20 League – Charlotte Devlin, Chloe Kelly and Leah Williamson, but the odds of seeing them turning up for the reserves are small – think Jack Wilshere and Alex Iwobi turning out for the men’s u23s to help make up the numbers and you get the idea.
I find it incredible to think that the Development team could start most games with one outfield and one goalkeeper sub on the bench and no one else.
I would also think there would be an outcry from fans if the men’s academy team had only 13 players in their squad rather than the 28 they currently have.
Even with the current FA WSL regulations limiting the squad for the first team and development team to 40 players combined, Arsenal are nowhere near that limit with 18 first team players and 13 development players.
Unless Pedro Losa aims to sign another seven first team players, the club must surely sign at least two players for the development team at the very least.