News and Views

Fran Kirby Makes Record Transfer to Chelsea Ladies

09 July 2015
By Alex Bower

Following her impressive performance at the Women's World Cup in Canada, Fran Kirby has signed for Chelsea Ladies for a British record transfer fee. The transfer marks the end of Kirby's extended time with Reading, having been at the club since the age of 8.

With the majority of players at Chelsea being full-time professionals, as well as being in the WSL1, FA Cup Final and having Champions League football, it is clear why Kirby has chosen to agree terms with the club. It is also clear why the club would want Kirby on their books.

The 22-year-old striker has earned her move with years of consistently high numbers of goals for Reading. This season, Kirby was Reading's top goalscorer to date, having scored eleven goals in five appearances. Kirby also finished as the league's top goalscorer last season, with twenty-nine goals in twenty-two appearances. This performance earned her the WSL 2 Players' Player of the Year award. Internationally, Kirby has also found the net three times in thirteen appearances.

All the money received by the club will go towards the further progression of the Reading Women's team. It is a testament to the setup at the club that they have aided her progression thus far and helped her to this exciting point in her career.

Kirby will now be helping Chelsea in their journey to winning the WSL 1, starting this Sunday when they play against Bristol Academy. Chelsea currently sit on the top of the table, two points ahead of their London rivals Arsenal. Liverpool Ladies have won the WSL 1 for the past two seasons, so there will be an even greater incentive for Kirby and her teammates to make sure a new team wins this year.

Reading FC Women, meanwhile, go into their next game in the WSL 2 against Durham on Saturday having been unbeaten in their last five matches. The Royals have won their last four matches without Kirby, scoring thirteen goals in the process, so hopes are high that the side will be able to continue their run and ultimately succeed in their aim of promotion into the WSL 1. Reading will meet Chelsea later this month in the Continental Cup, but an agreement between the clubs means that Kirby is not eligible to play.

While it is sad to hear that Kirby's time at Reading has come to an end, I'm sure everyone involved with the club will want to wish her the best of luck as she continues to progress in the sport. Despite her departure, Reading are still in a strong position to get promotion into the WSL 1 and will be keen to extend their impressive run to date.

NEXT GAME: Reading FC Women v Durham- Saturday 11th July. Kick-Off 6pm at Farnborough FC.

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