The Wokingham Paper

Lois Roche column: Reading FC Women star discusses life in WSL 1

Lois Roche has joined The Wokingham Paper (Pic by Nigel Hoyle/GoalShots)
Lois Roche has shared her latest musings with The Wokingham Paper (Pic by Nigel Hoyle/GoalShots)

READING FC WOMEN are currently embarking on an historic first season in the top flight of women’s football following promotion to Women’s Super League 1 last year and we are delighted to welcome Royals’ midfielder Lois Roche as a columnist for The Wokingham Paper to discuss all things Reading.

BIRMINGHAM away, our last game before the break, saw us start brightly in the first half with a goal all that was missing to show for our efforts.

Unfortunately we didn’t take our chances and Birmingham came on strong in the second half with the score remaining 0-0 at the final whistle.

A cliché, but definitely a game of two halves in which both teams played their part and, for us, a well deserved point on the board once again.

The game was actually broadcast live on BT Sport which was a first for us and made for a great occasion for the club, although it was another opportunity missed by myself to make my TV debut.

I guess there’s always The X Factor…

The season so far has been a promising one, picking up points on the road was always going to be difficult in this league.

Nonetheless, we have managed draws away from home against Sunderland, Notts

Lois Roche and Bianca Bragg celebrate winning FA WSL 2 - Pic by Nigel Hoyle/GoalShots
Lois Roche and Bianca Bragg celebrate winning FA WSL 2 – Pic by Nigel Hoyle/GoalShots

County and Birmingham thus far, three established Women’s Super League 1 sides.

Other fixtures came in the form of the FA Cup winners Arsenal, where we narrowly missed out on picking up points with defeats both home and away.

With that being said we are looking forward to welcoming them back to Adams Park for the Continental Cup game on July 2nd in which we will look to avenge those defeats and hopefully progress into the quarter finals of the competition.

On a more personal note, the season so far has been a frustrating one due to an injury picked up in the 1-1 away fixture at Sunderland.

An MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) strain in my right knee has caused me to be out of action for roughly five weeks.

Being injured and having to miss training everyday can be somewhat irksome but watching the girls from the sidelines competing and putting in the performances they have done every week has been a pleasure.

However, I am now feeling even more determined to get back to full fitness and on to that pitch to help secure our first win of the season.

The WSL 1 now acquires a mid-season break, for what I’m not quite sure of, so if anyone has any idea, if they could let me know it would be greatly appreciated.

The break lasts for six weeks, we’ve kindly been given 10 days off from training (but been given a training programme) from the Birmingham game and then we will have, knowing our manager, another pre-season to get back into shape for the second half of the season which, as you can imagine, we are all thrilled about.

The break hasn’t come at the best time for us still searching for our first win but it has allowed us to reflect on what has been a very positive start to our WSL 1 campaign.

Life in WSL 1 has been a dream come true for us girls as we’ve all managed to quit our previous jobs and become full-time professional footballers, I still have to pinch myself to be honest.

Although previously I was a sports journalist so this could be a little awkward.

Training full-time and mirroring our counterparts has allowed us to have morning and afternoon sessions instead of the dreaded evening sessions, rushing straight from work and getting home at midnight to get up for work the next morning.

Having all experienced this for seasons upon end we’re all so grateful for the opportunity and will continue to work hard day in, day out to keep the dream alive and maintain WSL 1 status.

Pick up this Friday’s Wokingham Paper to read Lois’ latest column.

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