A third signing for Reading as former Chelsea defender Deanna Cooper is confirmed for the 2020/21 season.
Having begun her career with four years at Gillingham, Deanna moved to Brighton & Hove Albion in 2014 before making a switch to London Bees, two years later. She would go on to score the equaliser goal against Chelsea during the FA WSL Cup which resulted in a penalty shootout that crowned the Bees the champions for that year. Impressed by her performance, Chelsea then nabbed the centre back in February of 2017, making the move her first to a pro club.
Cooper was instrumental in Chelsea’s Spring Series, the interim tournament between FA WSL seasons, performance during that summer, making 8 appearances for the team. Chelsea were confirmed as competition winners, with Berkshire’s very own Fran Kirby taking the top goalscorer spot. Cooper made a total of 29 appearances for Chelsea during her 3 year stint, which included 3 goals for the defender. Incidentally, her last goal was a 30 yard power shot against Reading.
An ACL injury saw her on benched for the 2017/18 season, but she looked match fit and raring to go for the following 2 seasons and will be keen to get some consistent game time for Reading.
In the official club statement, Reading boss Kelly Chambers said of Cooper, “She is a gifted player who wears her heart on her sleeve and does everything for her team. I believe she will fit into my squad perfectly and definitely suits our style of play. I’m excited to see her in a Reading shirt.”
No doubt Cooper will slot in effortlessly alongside Emma Mitchell who was also confirmed for the squad by Reading this week with Danielle Carter also featuring in the new Reading line up, when she was announced on Wednesday.