Reading Women boss Kelly Chambers looks ahead to FA WSL 1 season
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 09/02/16 5:39pm
Manager Kelly Chambers is confident her players can rise to the occasion and preserve newly-promoted Reading Women’s top-flight status next season.
Reading went up as champions last season and their promotion to FA Women's Super League 1 has seen them turn full-time, in sharp contrast to last term where they trained just two days a week.
And Chambers, who becomes only the second female coach in FA WSL 1 after Chelsea Ladies boss Emma Hayes, says her side are relishing the prospect of testing themselves against the country's best sides.
"My target is to stay up," Chambers told Sky Sports News HQ.
"It's a transition period at the moment, going from part-time to full-time. It has been a challenge for the girls, especially physically and getting their bodies used it.
"We all know it's going to be tough. The league itself is growing with the talent that is already there and how the teams are developing. It's going to be tough but the players are really excited for the challenge ahead."
Reading's preparations for the new season were boosted by a 2-0 pre-season friendly victory away at Aston Villa, with both goals coming from midfielder Lois Roche.
The Royals begin the new season with a visit to Arsenal, who play at Boreham Wood, on March 23, and Roche says her team-mates cannot wait for the big kick-off next month.
"What better way to start off the season than away at Arsenal," Roche said.
"It's a great draw for us. We've got quite a young team so we're quite fearless in that aspect. We're all really looking forward to it. Every game this season is going to be like a cup final for us and as footballers I think we will all relish the challenge."
Reading Women are playing their home games at Wycombe Wanderers' Adams Park ground this year, with their first home match the reverse fixture against Arsenal on April 27.