Player profiles for the 2013-14 season...
Chloe partnered Rio Hardy up front in the Under-17s team last season that reached the FA Youth Cup final. A quick and skilful forward, Chloe possesses a superb first touch, as well as excellent finishing ability. Chloe’s talent has already been recognised by England, who have called her up for several training camps. A Darwen girl, Chloe has also represented Lancashire and has been at Rovers for six years. She made her Rovers Ladies debut at home to Preston North End in September 2013 and was handed her first start in the Lancashire Cup victory over Bolton Wanderers a month later.
Local girl Amy Barrett joined Rovers in March 2014. The 19-year-old full-back, who can also play in midfield, had been at Greater Manchester Centre of Excellence and will bolster Rovers’ defensive options.
Another Rovers Girls Centre of Excellence graduate, this flying winger joined Rovers at Under-17 level from Lammack Juniors. Still only 19, Amy made her Rovers Ladies debut as an 18-year-old last season, including an appearance at Ewood Park in the end-of-season game against Sporting Club Albion. A skilful player, Amy is blessed with quick feet and a blistering turn of pace. She will be hoping to break through to become a regular starter this season.
A Wales Under-19 international, Kelly joined Rovers in November from Cardiff City, where she had spent the past two-and-a-half years. The 19-year-oldutfit is a tenacious, hard-working and energetic holding midfielder, who likes to get on the ball from deep. An international team-mate of Rovers goalkeeper Gemma Jackson, Kelly has represented her country in Russia, Hungary and at the European Women’s Under-19 Championship finals on home soil in August.
Rovers bolstered their attacking options with the signing of Doncaster Belles winger Nicky Emery in March. The 19-year-old joins Rovers from Doncaster’s development squad in search of regular first team football. A Scotland Under-17 international, Nicky made her Rovers debut in the 3-1 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest.
Rovers Ladies’ captain is a cultured and composed central midfield player, whose positive attitude sets the tone for the rest of the squad. Hannah has been with Rovers for eight years and made her debut as a 15-year-old. Hannah missed most of last season with a serious ankle injury that required surgery, but after a full pre-season Hannah has now re-established herself as a key member of the team. A big Wigan fan, Hannah has just started her first year of work as a PE teacher after qualifying last year.
Rovers’ newly-appointed vice-captain, Nichol has been with the club since the age of 13. A local Darwen girl, Nic has mainly played for Rovers as a forward and was the top goalscorer in pre-season. A tall and athletic player, Nic has a tremendous work rate, which when combined with a selfless attitude, makes her a role model for others in the squad. Nic is also able to play at centre-half and captained the side to a 7-3 friendly win over Blackpool Ladies in October 2013.
Amie joined Rovers in September 2013 after previously playing at Liverpool Ladies. Last season she spent some time in America on a football scholarship and Rovers Ladies fought off strong interest from other FA Premier League teams to sign this tenacious midfield player. Tough in the tackle but also possessing an eye for a pass, Amie adds physicality to the Rovers Ladies midfield. Amie made her Rovers Ladies debut at home to Preston North End in September 2013.
This tenacious central midfield player joined Rovers at the age of 11 from Lammack Juniors. A local girl and a Rovers fan, Sophie went on to break into the Reserve squad at the age of 16. That season, the Reserves won their league and Sophie was voted Player of the Year. Sophie also made her first team debut during this period, still aged 16. In the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, she captained the Reserves and has now gone on to establish herself as a first team regular. A composed and quality player, with a great eye for a pass, Sophie has great potential.
Like her twin sister Steph, Rio attended the Cumbria Girls Centre of Excellence before joining Rovers at Under-17 level. A powerful and direct striker, Rio scored 28 goals in 25 games for the Under-17s last season, including Rovers’ only goal in their FA Youth Cup final defeat to Arsenal at MK Dons. Rio has also represented England Colleges, where she scored eight goals in five games. Rio made her Rovers Ladies debut at home to Preston North End in September 2013 and was handed her first start in the Lancashire Cup victory over Bolton Wanderers a month later.
Steph is the defensive half of the 'Hardy twins', who built a strong reputation for themselves in the Under-17 team last season. Steph made her debut for Rovers Ladies as a substitute in the 4-2 victory over Newcastle United at the end of September. A tall, athletic defender, Steph possesses all the attributes to develop into a regular starter in the FA Women's Premier League. Left-footed, Steph is pushing to get into the team at either left-back or centre-half.
This Scottish goalkeeper joined Rovers Ladies in the summer of 2013. Rovers had to wait several weeks for international clearance before Jo eventually made her debut at home to Stoke City at the end of September. Jo has previous experience of playing in the top division of Scottish Women's football, representing both Hibernian and Spartans. Jo has also represented Scotland at both junior and senior levels. She brings a wealth of experience and provides a commanding physical presence in the Rovers goal.
Goalkeeper Naveen Kirby joined Rovers in March 2014. Formerly of Manchester City, Naveen will be Rovers’ second-choice keeper, working with Jo Hutcheson until the end of the season.
A former regular with Rovers’ Reserves, Evie broke into the first team fold at the start of 2013, scoring on her debut in a 2-1 defeat to Sheffield FC in the FA Women’s Cup. She went on to score three goals in eight appearances during the second half of the 2012-13 season and was rewarded with a maiden call-up to an England Women’s Under-19 training camp in July 2013.
At just 16 years of age, Zara is the youngest member of the Rovers Ladies squad. Zara graduated from the Rovers Girls Centre of Excellence this summer, having been a member of the Under-17 squad that reached the FA Youth Cup final last season. A versatile player, Zara combines a fantastic aerobic capacity with good technical skills that make her a real prospect. After impressing in pre-season, Zara burst into the team at the end of September. Comfortable at either full-back position, Zara is one to watch for future development.
Sara began her playing career with Stoke City’s Girls Centre of Excellence, before moving onto Crewe Alexandra. She joined Rovers in the summer of 2011 as a 16-year-old and was voted Young Player of the Season in her first year. ‘Nas’ is a technically-gifted midfield player with strength and a superb attitude. Now in her third year at Rovers, she recently returned from a loan spell at Blackpool Ladies.
Originating from Northern Ireland, this talented central midfielder first joined in December 2012, before rejoining in September 2013 after returning to England to study at university. Hayley excels at finding space in midfield and enjoys linking the play from defence. Technically very good, Hayley has represented Northern Ireland at Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 levels.
Former Rovers defender Gail Pennington returned to the club in December from FC United. Gail originally joined Rovers from Rochdale in October 2011. She is a versatile and tough-tackling defender, who can either play at centre half or right-back. She is technically sound and a good athlete.
Rovers swooped for highly-rated Manchester City captain Lindsay Savage in December after she turned down the chance to be involved in City’s 2014 Women’s Super League campaign. Lindsay is a great role model for Rovers’ younger players. She is a fantastic player, a natural leader and a true professional with the way she goes about her game. She is very good in the air, very dominant, very strong and has a great range of passing. She is at her best in centre midfield, but can also fill in at centre half.
A tough, uncompromising centre-half, Helen captained Rovers' Girls Under-17s to the FA Youth Cup final last season. Despite interest from a number of other clubs, Helen committed her future to Rovers Ladies after joining the squad for pre-season in 2013. Helen made her first start at home to Stoke City at the end of September and made a huge impact, scooping the player of the match award on debut. Helen provides an aerial threat in both boxes and is working hard to develop her ability to play out from the back. Another exciting Rovers Ladies prospect.
Rovers secured the services of rising star Keira Walsh until the end of the season in February. Keira has spent six seasons with Rovers’ Centre of Excellence and now makes the step up to first team football. The 16-year-old enjoyed a stunning start to the year – making her England Under-19 debut in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Norway at the end of January, before bagging a hat-trick for Rovers’ Under-17s in their FA Girls Youth Cup quarter-final victory over Sunderland eight days later. Keira is a midfield playmaker, who was vice-captain of the England Under-17 side that competed at the European Championships in December.
This warrior-like player brings experience and strength to the Rovers Ladies squad. Vicky has previously played for Leicester City Ladies and figured prominently for Rovers Ladies at the start of the season. A strong and combative player, ‘Westy’ relishes a tackle and inspires those around her with her commitment and leadership.
Hannah is a small but skilful midfield player. After graduating from Rovers Girls Centre of Excellence last summer, Hannah was one of a number of young players signed after impressing in pre-season. Hannah is currently on a season-long loan at Morecambe Ladies in order to gain some first team experience.