Reading 2022/23 WSL season preview: How to watch, summer transfers & league prediction

Jamie Spencer
Reading 2022/23 WSL season preview
Reading 2022/23 WSL season preview / Briony Painter/90min

Reading have become part of the furniture in the WSL in recent years as they head into their eighth season in the top flight.

The Royals can always be counted on to pull out big results and maintain their WSL status with minimal fuss, despite not boasting the same budget as others around them.

Reading will go again in 2022/23 and the WSL wouldn't look right without them.

How to watch Reading Women on TV

Reading Women key players 2022/23

Star player

An Olympic goal medalist with Canada in 2021, Deanne Rose had an impressive start to life in the WSL last season.

The young forward, who has considerable experience despite only turning 23 in March this year, showed what she is about with a fine winning goal against Chelsea in December and finished the campaign with five in all competitions. She should only get better.

Skilful, fast and direct, Rose is one of Reading's most exciting attacking threats.

One to watch

Reading have a decent record of developing young talent, with both Emma Harries and Lily Woodham becoming important first-team players over the last couple of years.

Now, home-grown midfielder Tia Primmer is the next youngster set for an opportunity. She made 14 appearances last season, even scoring winners against Brighton in the FA Cup and Everton in the WSL, and has now signed a first professional contract during the summer months.

Reading Women manager

Kelly Chambers runs the show at Reading. When her own playing career with the Royals was ended through injury in 2012, she became director of women's and girls football at the club and has continued to perform that role even after also being appointed first-team coach in 2015. Chambers brought Reading into the WSL and oversaw their best ever league finish in 2017/18.

She also coached a teenage Fran Kirby, and was described as 'brilliant' by the England international.

Reading Women summer transfers


  • Brooke Hendrix (DF) - Melbourne Victory
  • Becky Jane (DF) - Charlton
  • Jacqueline Burns (GK) - BK Hacken
  • Lauren Wade (MF) - Glentoran
  • Charlie Wellings (FW) - Celtic
  • Diane Caldwell (DF) - Man Utd


  • Brooke Chaplen (MF) - retired - details
  • Natasha Harding (MF) - Aston Villa
  • Chloe Peplow (MF) - Crystal Palace - loan

There haven't been mass changes at Reading since last season, but what they have lost is considerable experience with the retirement of Brooke Chaplen following successful treatment for a bone tumour and the departure of Natasha Harding.

Becky Jane is back at the club three years after leaving for Liverpool, while Diane Caldwell adds experience at the back following a short spell with Manchester United. They have also brought former Birmingham and Bristol City forward Charlie Wellings back to the WSL after a prolific spell at Celtic.

Reading Women WSL history

Reading have been a staple of the WSL since 2016, fired into the top flight by Fran Kirby, who was poached by Chelsea before kicking a ball for the Royals at the highest level. They initially saw an improvement year on year and held steady as a top five club until 2020. But with a more competitive environment, Reading have started to slip away over the last couple of seasons - without ever seriously being troubled by relegation.

2016: 8th
2017 (Spring Series): 6th
2017/18: 4th
2018/19: 5th
2019/20: 5th
2020/21: 7th
2021/22: 8th

Reading WSL prediction

Reading showed last season they are capable of beating anyone when it comes to it. Even after losing four games on the bounce at the start of the campaign, they then took 22 points from the next 24 available - including a run of five consecutive wins. The problem was then that they only managed another three points from the next 30 on offer.

There is so much competition in that middle bracket of the WSL, with West Ham and Brighton refusing to rest on their laurels and Everton and Aston Villa also strengthening in the summer. That could spell a continuation of Reading's recent slide, albeit far from ending in a relegation.

Reading 2022/23 WSL prediction: 10th