Lionesses in Berkshire: When Fran Kirby, Beth Mead and Lauren Hemp will visit Reading

Chelsea's Fran Kirby. Photo: Neil Graham.
Chelsea's Fran Kirby. Photo: Neil Graham.

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It’s a big season for women’s football in England and in Berkshire, we have one of the country’s top teams in FA Women’s Super League side Reading FC Women.

Now unfortunately there are no current Royals in the Lionesses squad – though surely only a matter of time before Emma Harries wins her first senior cap – but there will be members of the victorious England Euro 2022 winning squad visiting Berkshire throughout the season with their respective clubs.

All but five of the Lionesses will – injury and selection permitting – be on show at Reading’s Select Car Leasing Stadium this season so Football in Berkshire has pulled together a guide to when those matches will take place.

Ticket information on Reading FC Women games is here, a full Reading FC Women fixture list is here. Please note this feature only includes FA WSL fixtures, there may be more games to come dependent on performance in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, Continental Cup and others.

Mary Earps, Nikita Parris, Ella Toone & Alessia Russo – Manchester United Women

Mary Earps and Grace Moloney pose for the camera. Photo: Neil Graham.
Mary Earps and Grace Moloney pose for the camera. Photo: Neil Graham.

Reading FC Women vs Manchester United – Sunday 22nd January 2023

England number one Mary Earps is well known in Reading having previously worn the Royals colours before moving on to VFL Wolfsburg in Germany. The player though we’re sure most supporters will be keen to see is the Euro 2022 breakout star Alessia Russo, she of the incredible instinctive back-heeled strike against Sweden.

Let’s not forget Ella Toone either who broke the deadlock in the final against Germany! A trio of Lionesses at the Select Car Leasing Stadium will be something to look forward to when United arrive in Berkshire on 22nd January and tickets will be available here.

Rachel Daly & Hannah Hampton – Aston Villa Women

Reading FC Women vs Aston Villa – Sunday 7th May 2023

Rachel Daly left-back is back to being Rachel Daly centre-forward after joining Aston Villa from Houston Dash in the summer. The striker has scored three goals in the opening two FA WSL ties including a brace against Manchester City and looks a good bet to finish well up the scoring charts come the end of the season.

Clearly up front is the position Daly relishes and she’ll certainly be one to look out for having spent much of her career in the US with the likes of Los Angeles Strikers and LA Blues before the move to Houston.

Goalkeeper Hannah Hampton is Villa’s other Lioness and is the Midlands side’s number one, but didn’t see a minute of action during the tournament. Villa head to Reading on 7th May and tickets will be available here.

Alex Greenwood, Lauren Hemp, Demi Stokes, Chloe Kelly & Ellie Roebuck – Manchester City Women

Manchester City's Alex Greenwood. Photo: Neil Graham.
Manchester City’s Alex Greenwood. Photo: Neil Graham.

Reading FC Women vs Manchester City – Sunday 30th April 2023

Manchester City may have lost a quartet of superstars this summer, but they can still call on one of England’s Euro 2022 stars in Lauren Hemp while Alex Greenwood has a big part to play and well, you’ll all know the name Chloe Kelly.

Let’s not forget either that the blues can call on former Lionesses captain Steph Houghton while their goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck is arguably England’s number two, and Demi Stokes is another with plenty of international experience. Manchester City Women are in town on the 30th April and tickets will be available here.

Bethany England, Millie Bright, Jess Carter & (super) Fran Kirby – Chelsea Women

Chelsea's Millie Bright. Photo: Neil Graham.
Chelsea’s Millie Bright. Photo: Neil Graham.

Reading FC Women vs Chelsea – Sunday 28th May 2023

A hero’s welcome surely awaits Fran Kirby. The Reading-born England superstar also has a habit of scoring a goal or two against her former club and will bring with her a pillar of the England defence in Millie Bright while Beth England and Jess Carter are fellow Euro 2022 squad members. The reigning FA WSL champions are last up this season for Reading on 28th May and tickets will be available here.

Beth Mead, Leah Williamson & Lotte Wubben-Moy – Arsenal Women

Arsenal's Beth Mead. Photo: Neil Graham.
Arsenal’s Beth Mead. Photo: Neil Graham.

Reading FC Women vs Arsenal – Sunday 16th October 2022

Chloe Kelly may have made all the headlines in the final, but where would the Lionesses have been without Arsenal’s Beth Mead? The forward won the Golden Boot and the Player of the Tournament awards scoring six goals including a hat-trick in the demolition of Norway.

The Gunners also boast England captain Leah Williamson in their number and defender Lotte Wubben-Moy – reportedly the mastermind behind the open letter to Conservative leadership hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak demanding football be made open to girls in PE.

Arsenal visit the Select Car Leasing Stadium on the 16th October and tickets will be available here.

What about Lucy Bronze, Kiera Walsh, Georgia Stanway, Ellen White and Jill Scott?

Lucy Bronze. Photo: Neil Graham.
Lucy Bronze. Photo: Neil Graham.

Sadly we won’t be seeing any of the quintet of Lucy Bronze, Kiera Walsh, Georgia Stanway, Ellen White or Jill Scott on the pitch at least at the Select Car Leasing Stadium this season.

Bronze and Walsh have both made moves to Spain with Barcelona, Walsh becoming the most expensive female footballer in the process (£350,000) while young midfield dynamo Stanway has moved to Bayern Munich in Germany, all three departures severely weakening Manchester City.

The Citizens suffered another blow following the retirement of Ellen White shortly after Euro 2022. The Buckinghamshire-born goalscorer is the Lionesses’ record goalscorer but hung up her boots along with midfielder and veteran of 10 international tournaments Jill Scott.

Reading FC Women’s own Euro 2022 stars

Gemma Evans and Justine Vanhaevermaet of Reading FC Women Photo: Neil Graham
Gemma Evans and Justine Vanhaevermaet of Reading FC Women Photo: Neil Graham

Of course, you don’t have to just head to a Reading FC Women game in the FA WSL when the Lionesses are in town. There are international stars in every team this season and Reading had three of their own on show in the summer tournament in Justine Vanhaevermaet of Belgium, Denmark’s Sanne Troelsgaard and Norway’s Amalie Eikeland while there’s plenty of Welsh talent still at the club with Rachel Rowe, Lily Woodham, Gemma Evans and Bethan Roberts and Canadian star Deanne Rose.

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