Following their FA WSL Academy 5-0 Cup triumph against Manchester United, let’s have a look at the squad and their whereabouts, as, unfortunately, not many have stayed with the club.
Retained players who are likely to get first team appearances:
Ruby Grant, Melisa Filis and Silvana Flores were given first team squad numbers at the Emirates Cup tournament.
Although the first team squad has been boosted by new signings, injuries are unfortunately part and parcel of the game, which means the three will get a chance during the season.
Retained players who will carry on playing for the Academy team as they are registered for the new season:
- Ana Caterina Alburquerque
- Hannah Dawbarn
- Georgie Ferguson
- Alexandra Fuggle
- Melis Mehmet
- Gracie Pearse
- Shauna Vassell
These are the players registered as of today.
With the League not starting until September, there might be more renewals as the FA update their website sporadically.
Players who have left the club:
We can split them in different categories
Those who moved abroad to study:
- Ava Kuyken University of Florida ( USA)
- Libby Harper University of Akron ( USA)
- Abbie Roberts Rutgers University ( USA)
- Gabriel Clarke Jacksonville State University ( USA)
- Jennifer Echegini Missipi State University (USA)
Obviously, a full scholarship is a huge opportunity and very hard to turn down given it results in a good degree with football training on a daily basis. There are no equivalent facilities in England at the same level yet.
Those who left us to play in the second tier in England
- Paige Bailey-Gayle Leicester City, Championship
- Amelia Hazard London Bees, Championship
- Lachante Paul Leicester City, Championship
It makes sense for those players to gain playing time and they would have had limited chances to get a game this season, unless we ended up with five to seven injuries again.
The players with an unknown status:
Maxine Borden, Rachel Harle, Shannon Hellina, Lexi-Lou Lloyd-Smith, Tamsyn Sibanda.
I have found no news about these players. They might be staying or have already left for pastures new.
Some good news
We have a few new players registered for the 2019/20 season:
Grace Garrald (u-16 team), Georgia Legge, Mailka Meena (u-16 team).
So, the expectation is clearly to have an u21 competitive team this season.
We are still awaiting news on the new head coach following Lauren Phillips’ departure.
Hopefully, we will find out soon who will take over from her.