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.
Rovers’ record goalscorer and longest-serving player, Katie Anderton first joined the club a decade ago and has 200 competitive goals in Rovers’ colours. The tall and skilful striker first signed in 2003 and was named in Hope Powell’s provisional 30-player England squad ahead of the 2007 World Cup after a string of goal-laden seasons. Her impressive performances at club level also attracted the attentions of Arsenal. She moved to Doncaster Rovers Belles for the inaugural Women’s Super League season, before returning to Rovers for a second spell in October 2011. Despite often operating in a deeper midfield role last season, she still scored 12 goals in 17 appearances.
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 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.
Gemma broke into the Rovers Ladies first team last season and consolidated her place with a number of excellent performances. Gemma has represented Wales Under-19s and is now determined to push on to become a regular at this level. An effective shot-stopper with huge potential, Gemma will compete with Jo Hutcheson to be the Rovers Ladies number one.
Steph is a talented left-sided player who is equally comfortable at left-back or left wing. She has previously played for Everton and has also represented England at Under-17 and Under-19 level, featuring in the World Cup and European Championships. Steph possesses a cultured left foot and loves to get forward, causing problems with her pace and shooting ability. She is also currently training with Manchester City Ladies, with a view to joining them for their 2014 Women’s Super League campaign.
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 is currently out on loan at Blackpool Ladies.
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.
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.
Despite still being in her early 20s, Danni has already amassed many seasons of women’s football after making her debut for Manchester City as a 15-year-old. Prior to a seven-year spell at City, Danni played for Manchester United, before joining Rovers Ladies in the summer of 2013. She scored her first two Rovers goals in first away game of the season, a 2-2 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers, before adding another brace against Bolton Wanderers in the Lancashire Cup. Danni is blessed with searing speed and a powerful shot and is comfortable operating anywhere in midfield or attack.