Remi: ‘Sign­ing Fara is a state­ment of our am­bi­tions’

The Wokingham Paper - - FOOTBALL -

REMI ALLEN says the ar­rival of Eng­land’s record cap holder Fara Wil­liams is a mas­sive sig­nal of in­tent from Read­ing.

Allen, 26, has been at the club since ar­riv­ing from Birm­ing­ham

City Ladies in June 2016, but since then has seen two Eng­land in­ter­na­tional mid­field­ers fol­low in Wil­liams and Jade Moore.

Af­ter fin­ish­ing sixth in the Spring Se­ries, ty­ing down a num­ber of key play­ers to new con­tracts and Wil­liams ar­riv­ing from Arse­nal, Allen is con­fi­dent Read­ing can now push on even higher up the ta­ble when the WSL 1 sea­son kicks off later this month.

“We don’t just want to be a side that’s happy to stay in this league,” the mid­fielder told The Wokingham Pa­per.

“We want to challenge our­selves and even­tu­ally go on to win leagues and cups, so that’s what we’re try­ing to do.

“It’s what our aim will be and I think it’s a realistic aim for us, es­pe­cially in the fu­ture.

“We’ve made some big sign­ings and it’s a mas­sive sign of in­tent as well I think.

“We’re buzzing with it and it’s good to get them in now so we can get on the train­ing pitch and all work to­gether.

“The in­flu­ence that has on the rest of the league is mas­sive and it shows where we want to go as a club.”

It has been a long pre-sea­son for Kelly Cham­bers’ side since their last game at the be­gin­ning of June.

But af­ter be­ing given a month off and a num­ber of the play­ers away com­pet­ing at the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships, ev­ery­one is now back in train­ing ahead of the first game of the cam­paign at home to Sun­der­land Ladies on Septem­ber 24.

While Eng­land Lionesses could not clinch Euro glory, the Read­ing squad is boosted by a buoy­ant Mandy van den Berg, who lifted the tro­phy as cap­tain of host na­tion Nether­lands.

“It’s amaz­ing for her,” said Allen of van den Berg.

“She works re­ally hard and for her to go out there and do that in her home­town is just un­be­liev­able.

“Ev­ery­one was buzzing for her. If Eng­land didn’t win it then she was the other team that we wanted, so it was a re­ally good re­sult.”

In­dus­tri­ous Allen has been a reg­u­lar in the cen­tre of mid­field since her ar­rival, but with com­pe­ti­tion from Wil­liams, Moore, Rachel Fur­ness, Lau­ren Bru­ton and Rachel Rowe, she knows she’ll have her work cut out to ce­ment a start­ing berth again.

But the for­mer Eng­land youth in­ter­na­tional is rel­ish­ing the bat­tle, say­ing it can only be good for the club.

“It’s com­pet­i­tive and as play­ers it’s how you want it be­cause you al­ways want to bet­ter your­self,” said Allen.

“Me play­ing with those sorts of play­ers is only go­ing to make me bet­ter and only go­ing to challenge me more.

“We’ve all got to com­pete but we’re all team­mates and we’ll all do what we can for the club to make sure that we’re win­ning games.”

She added: “I think Read­ing are now start­ing to get that rep­u­ta­tion that we want to progress.

“We want to get into that top four and we want to start win­ning tro­phies.

“The way the club is run, the way we train and our in­ten­sity is a mas­sive pull for play­ers now and it’s only go­ing up­wards, which is mas­sive.”

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