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Reading's Rebuild Ahead of First Championship Season in Eight Years

After eight consecutive seasons in the top flight of women's football, Reading were relegated from the WSL in the 22/23 season. As a result, the team went through a rebuild, releasing experienced players and signing new stars to prepare for their next challenge.

Reading suffered a difficult summer after demotion to the Championship. With the departure of their captain, Emma Mukandi, and the Royals' owners announcing the women's team's move from full-time to part-time, Reading lost a large number of their key players.

The team's solution was to receive young talents on loan from Women's Super League clubs such as Chelsea and West Ham, as well as secure more permanent deals with their talented summer signings.

Charlie Estcourt

Midfield talent Charlie Estcourt returned to the club after having been away for three years. During this time away from Reading, she played for London Bees, Coventry United and Birmingham City.

Estcourt has won the Championship title in the past, when it was known as WSL 2.

Estcourt started her football career at Reading's youth academy when she was nine years old. She signed her first professional contract with the club at the age of sixteen.

Charlie Estcourt also plays internationally for the Welsh national team, with 36 senior appearances and 3 goals to her name.

Last season, Estcourt played a big part in Birmingham City's fight for promotion to the WSL. She made 15 appearances for the side that finished just 1 point shy of the Championship title.

Having graduated from Reading's academy and now returning to her childhood club, Estcourt is carving her name into Reading's history books and will continue to do so through their 23/24 season campaign.

Halle Houssein

Spending 2021 with Arsenal and 2022 with West Ham, Halle Houssein has gained experience training with some of the best players from the Women's Super League.

At just 18 years old, Houssein is a great technically talented player, able to adjust to her surroundings quickly and hit the ground running from the get go.

She played for Arsenal against WSL champions Chelsea in a friendly in 2021, proving that she is a young player to watch out for, as her talents were recognised enough by Arsenal to earn herself game time within such a strong squad.

Although only on loan from West Ham for the 23/24 season, Houssein will play a key role in helping Reading fight for the Championship title and promotion back into the WSL.

Emily Orman

Orman will make a big impact at Reading after having experience with Women's Super League champions Chelsea, the team that she has been loaned from for the season.

During Chelsea's 22/23 WSL campaign, Emily Orman was part of the first team squad throughout the entire season, being their second choice goalkeeper.

She also has plenty of international experience under her belt, having played for England from the under 14s to the under 19s.

Orman's loan deal to play for Reading was a great decision from both parties, as Reading will have a new talented goalkeeper for their Championship campaign, and Orman will get more minutes in a competitive league before returning to Chelsea.

Josie Longhurst

Longhurst started her professional career in Brighton & Hove Albion's Academy. She then joined Lewes in 2021 before joining Reading for the 23/24 season and beyond.

Josie Longhurst has also played for Wales on the international stage, making appearances in the under 17s and under 19s squads. She also played for her home country during their under 19s UEFA qualifiers.

At only 21 years old, Longhurst will gain valuable experience with Reading, learning from the experienced players around her, helping her to further improve her technical skills and become a young star within her new side.

The talented midfielder will play a big part in helping Reading rebuild their squad to its full potential and fight for promotion to the WSL.

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