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Women's Football News
F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Blackburn Rovers have had some good Cup runs in recent seasons and they have done well this time around, reaching the Fourth Round after an Evie Manning gave them a 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough. Their reward is a tough one as they must travel to play FA WSL2 newcomers Reading Women, who reached this stage by winning 2-1 away to Millwall Lionesses.
In May 2006, Reading Football Clun delightedly announced the launch of its first ever women's football team, which came after three years of planning and development with our girls centre of excellence. The launch of the Reading FC Women's team came after carefully analysis of women's football in the area and this initiative was in partnership with Reading Girls FC.
The Centre of Excellence had already generated a number of international youth players and more were coming through the ranks, but the club had no senior outlet for any of the players until Reading FC Women was formed. The senior side now provides an outlet for a number of exciting young players that graduate from our Centre. With a target to play premier league women's football, the squad, which included a reserve team, entered mid-tier of the leagues structure.
In the first season, 2006-07, Reading won the Southern Region League Premier Division and the following year, they won the South West Combination in style following an unbeaten campaign, and gaining promotion to the premier levels of women's football. The reserve team followed similar progress and promotion through its respective league routes, signalling the depth of the overall squad that was being developed.
They finished a creditable sixth in their first season of Premier League football and carried off the Southern Division title the following year. They then took a top three place in the National Division but were relegated the following season. In 2012-13 they won the Southern Division title for a second title but were not promoted this time due to gaining entry to the FA Women's Super League 2 ahead of 2014.
This brought the appointment of Jayne Ludlow as the club's new manager and she has been busy strengthening the squad including the signings of another Arsenal Ladies legend, Ciara Grant, as well as Lauren Bruton, Shelly Cox, Nicola Davies and Connie Short amongst others to add to established players like Rebecca Jane, Cheryl Williams and highly rated striker Francesca Kirby. Georgie Giddings is the club captain this season.
This game, to be played at Farnborough, is set to be a huge test for Blackburn's cup credentials against an emerging side with a good mixture of youth and experience.
Reading Women (from): Grace Moloney, Nicola Davies, Alex Keown, Connie Short, Georgie Giddings, Ciara Grant, Melissa Fletcher, Cheryl Williams, Rebecca Jane, Lois Roche, Francesca Kirby, Lauren Bruton, Kirsty McGee, Leigh Nicol, Shelly Cox.
Blackburn Rovers (from): Jo Hutcheson, Gail Pennington, Helen Seed, Steph Hardy, Amie Fleming, Lindsay Savage, Vicky Westerman, Hannah Forster, Rio Hardy, Nichol Forster, Evie Manning, Sara Noori, Hayley O'Donnell, Chloe Adams, Kelly Bourne, Sophie Flynn, Amy Bland, Zara Musker.
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