Rachel Rowe. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Rachel Rowe. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

The Reading FC Women Wales international XI

From Jess Fishlock to Lily Woodham via Helen Ward, the links are strong with the Royals and the Welsh national team
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Rachel Rowe. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Rachel Rowe. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

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Reading FC Women have a grand tradition of signing players from over the border, in their (relatively) short history they’ve had some of Wales’ best players turning out for them. It’s possible to make a really good first eleven from Welsh players who have played for Reading’s premier women’s club.

Claire Skinner (Goalkeeper)

It’s quite difficult sourcing goalkeepers for this type of team but one we did find is Clarie Skinner. Skinner played for Reading’s youth teams and has since become a full international. She currently plays for Swansea City Ladies in the Genero Adran Premier in Wales.

Rachel Rowe (full-back)

It’s difficult to know where to place Rachel Rowe on the pitch as she’s equally adept in any position. Rowe is a current Reading Women player and finished top scorer for the club last season despite not always playing in an attacking position!

Gemma Evans (defender)

Gemma Evans. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Gemma Evans. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

A signing from Bristol City last summer, left-footed Evans is a strong presence in the heart of defence for club and country. Equally adept at playing fullback, like Rowe, she is also a current Reading Women player.

Bethan Roberts (defender)

Teenager Roberts has come up through the club’s youth system and has made sporadic appearances for the first team since then. She has yet to make her Wales debut but has been part of the Wales U19s squad in recent months.

Nia Jones (defender)

Nia Jones played for Reading between 2015 and 2017 before signing for Yeovil. The annoyingly talented Jones has now retired from football and now plays netball internationally for Wales.

Lily Woodham (midfield)

Lily Woodham. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

Left-footed Woodham is another player who has come through the Reading FC youth system. She has had loan spells at Bristol City and Charlton Athletic. She scored on her international debut against Faroe Islands last year.

Angharad James (midfield)

Combative midfielder James spent the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons with Reading, scoring twice. She has now departed for North Carolina Courage in the NWSL. Despite being only 27 she has already amassed over 90 caps for her country.

Jess Fishlock (midfield)

Jess Fishlock and Angharad James. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Jess Fishlock and Angharad James. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

The most capped Welsh woman (or man for that matter) of all time with over 125 caps. Superstar Jess Fishlock has played in almost every corner of the footballing globe, and won trophies almost everywhere she’s been. She had a loan spell at Reading last season and is now back at OL Reign in Seattle where she plays alongside Megan Rapinoe.

Charlie Estcourt (midfield)

Estcourt started her career with Reading Women. After loan spells at Bristol City and Charlton Athletic she moved on from Reading to London Bees. She currently plays for Coventry United in the FA Women’s Championship.

Tash Harding (winger)

Former Manchester City and Liverpool forward Tash Harding is currently one of Reading Women’s longest-serving players. The irrepressible Welsh woman joined the club in 2017 and has been a mainstay of the first XI since.

Helen Ward (centre-forward)

Reading FC Women striker Helen Ward. Photo: Neil Graham.
Reading FC Women striker Helen Ward. Photo: Neil Graham.

Wales’ top scorer of all time played for Reading during 2014-2017 and was brought to the club by Reading’s then-manager Jayne Ludlow (another Welshwoman!). Ward now plays at her beloved Watford and is still banging goals in at international level.

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