The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY -

A LOT has been made of Fran Kirby’s de­par­ture from Read­ing to Chelsea – and rightly so.

Since first meet­ing her and play­ing along­side the kid now dubbed as ‘Mini Messi’ in Novem­ber 2013, it is al­most un­be­liev­able to see her growth as a foot­baller.

She had tal­ent, clearly, but she needed time and coach­ing to bring out her po­ten­tial. She got that at Read­ing and, as she be­came fit­ter, stronger and wiser, she quickly be­came the most feared player in the league.

The ac­co­lades and Eng­land suc­cess soon fol­lowed and the whole coun­try now knows her name.

Fran’s move to Chelsea was ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing for us as a club, but once it be­came clear she wanted to move on and test her­self at the top, it was prob­a­bly best for all par­ties that she was al­lowed to leave. Readin g made s u re they got the right deal and Fran was able to go.

For me, there is no point in keep­ing an un­happy player, no mat­ter how good they are. They won’t do them­selves or the team jus­tice.

Tal­ent wise, Fran is a loss. But it has al­lowed us to come to­gether and work even harder as a group to prove we weren’t a one-woman team and that the rest of the squad are ca­pa­ble of chal­leng­ing at the top.


FRAN-TASTIC: Fran Kirby scores her first goal for Chelsea against Birm­ing­ham and cel­e­brates, inset

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