Watford Ladies have added two new players to their ranks ahead of the start of the Women’s Super League 2 campaign.
Stacie Donnelly has joined from Reading and Ashleigh James has re-joined the club after a period at Chelsea.
Donnelly impressed for Reading as they finished top of the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division last season. She made 27 appearances and scored six goals to help the side win the title.
James will be a familiar face at the club having played with some of the girls back in the successful youth system during 2011.
“I would never have left Watford had the FA granted their Centre of Excellence license as I was really happy here,” said James. “It’s very good to be back and be part of a great set up.”
Welsh U19 international James has been out for a while with a serious injury and she’s keen to get her career started again.
“After a long recovery and sometimes getting frustrated at not being able to play it is a joy to be back to full training and I’m looking forward to my first match for Watford,” she said.
“My goal for this season is to get back playing regular football and try and push for a place in the first team.
“I am also aiming to get back into international football by playing for Wales again.”
The other new arrival, Donnelly, enjoyed her time at Reading but now can’t wait to get started at Watford.
“I was with Reading for nearly six years and have lots of fond memories,” she said. “I felt it was good to go out on a high and to find a new challenge that Watford has now presented me.
“I pride myself on my work ethic and always set myself high standards, working my hardest in both training and games as I am always looking to better myself.
“I have set myself a target of becoming a regular starter in the first team which I am willing to put my all into.”
There have also been some moves in the opposite direction and Watford Ladies can confirm the departures of both Bridie Davies and Sam Batley.
Davies only made a handful of appearances for the Watford Ladies FC Development Team in her short stay at the club, having only joined in July 2013. She has now left the Lady Hornets to join London Bees.
Batley was a rising star with the Golden Girls, progressing from the U17s into the Development Team this season and impressing the coaching staff.
She has had to move back America due to family reasons and will now be seeking a new club in the States.