by Andrew Crawshaw
Despite the Ladies Football season not starting competitive football until March, the Club have made three announcements this week, not least because the transfer window in now open and will close before the season starts in March.
Katie McCabe has joined the club from Shelbourne FC in Dublin. Katie is 20 and already has six senior caps for the Republic of Ireland. She is a forward and will likely be a replacement for Chioma Ubogagu whose contract was not renewed at the end of last season.
Arsenal Manager Pedro Martinez Losa said “We are delighted to welcome Katie to the club. She is a fantastic young talent, who is full of potential and I look forward to her continued progress with us in the season ahead.”
Fara Williams MBE has also joined the club from Liverpool in a high-profile signing. Farah is 31 and England’s most-capped player (she took that record from Arsenal’s Rachel Yankey in August 2014). She played a vital part in guiding England Lionesses to third place in the World Cup campaign in Canada last summer scoring three penalties including the extra-time winner against Germany which earned the third place prize (and a first ever win over Germany).
Pedro Losa said “We are delighted to welcome Fara to the club. She is a great competitor and a fantastic character too. She is a player with huge experience at club and international level and her reading and understanding of the game is fantastic. She is an exciting addition to the squad and I look forward to working with her as we begin preparations for the 2016 season”.
With the improvements that the current title holders Chelsea have made to their squad these two arrivals are clearly intended to keep us in the race for the coming season and Fara in particular is going to play a major part.
The third announcement is that the club will play a friendly game against Fc Bayern Frauen (Bayern’s Ladies team) as part of their pre-season preparations. The game will be in Seville on 6 February kick-off 16:00 local time. This will be a tough test for the Ladies as Bayern won the Ladies Bundesliga last season and are current leaders with a 12 point lead over Wolfsburg and Frankfurt.
Other key changes in the squad announced so far are :-
Goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain has left the club and signed for Liverpool Ladies
Chioma Ubogagu left at the end of her one year contract, she returned to Texas and has signed for the Houston Dash in the NWSL. I am sorry that she left as she was clearly a player with loads of potential and always looked capable of scoring a goal.
Danielle Van De Donk is a Dutch international and is an attacking midfielder with excellent technical skills. She will add depth to an already strong midfield. She is joining her international team mates Sari Van Veenendaal (GK) and Dominique Janssen (DF/MF)
There is no official news yet of other pre-season games.
Two more anniversaries
- 5 January 1958: Steve Walford, born in Highgate. He started out with Tottenham in 1974 but he only played twice for them before Terry Neill, who of course himself at been at Tottenham, signed him for Arsenal for £25,000 on 1 August 1977.
- 5 January 1961: John Butler, the first centre half to play in the revolutionary WM formation, died aged 66. After playing 267 times for the club he was sold to Torquay United for £1,000 after which he became the coach of Royal Daring, in Belgium, and coach of the Belgian national side in the 1938 World Cup. After the war he managed Torquay United, Crystal Palace and Colchester Utd, before retiring from football in 1955.
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