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