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Tottenham Hotspur Women announce seven new signings in first fully professional squad

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MOAR SIGNINGS!

Tottenham Hotspur v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

It’s Tottenham Hotspur Women day at Cartilage Free Captain, because there’s a lot of news coming out about Spurs’ first season in the English top tier Women’s Super League. After announcing that they will play their home matches at The Hive Stadium in Edgware this season, Spurs also announced the signing of seven new players to the squad and the list of players from last season that have earned fully professional contracts.

First, let’s take a look at the players you might know from last season who will be continuing on in the WSL. It’s a pretty good list.

  • Chloe Morgan (GK)
  • Jenna Schillaci [c] (CB)
  • Lucia Leon (LB/CM)
  • Ashley Neville (RB)
  • Josie Green (CM)
  • Anna Filbey (DM)
  • Sophie McLean (CM)
  • Coral-Jade Haines (MF)
  • Jessica Naz (FW)
  • Angela Addison (FW)
  • Rianna Dean (ST)

Last season’s leading scorer and Wales U19 striker Rianna Dean will again be a major part of Tottenham’s squad going forward, and club captain Jenna Schillaci will also continue. Jessica Naz is a young up and coming striker and England U19 international. Fullback Ashleigh Neville is a seasoned defender with a knack for the back of the net, the only defender to win a Player of the Month award in the FAWC last season. Midfielder Coral-Jade Haines has WSL experience from her years with Birmingham Women and is now returning to the top flight.

This core will be joined by the following players, some of which have full international caps. You can read descriptions of them and their playing history at Spurs’ website.

  • Becky Spencer (GK)
  • Ria Percival (CB)
  • Siri Worm (LB)
  • Chloe Peplow (MF)
  • Rosella Ayane (FW)
  • Gemma Davison (FW)
  • Lucy Quinn (FW)

A transition from a semi-professional to a fully professional football often means difficult choices and a lot of turnover, and that appears to be the case with Spurs as well. Not mentioned in the release are the following players from last season:

  • Bianca Baptiste
  • Emma Beckett
  • Emma Gibbon
  • Renee Hector
  • Wendy Martin
  • Anne Meiwald
  • Grace Staunton
  • Mya Vio
  • Ryah Vyse
  • Sarah Wiltshire
  • Megan Wynne

This doesn’t necessarily indicate that the above players are being released — the club’s release suggested that “further additions are expected in the coming weeks,” though it’s very likely that most of the players on the list above will be searching for other clubs. Notably, former London Bees club captain Emma Beckett, who signed with Spurs midway through the season, was not on the retained list, nor were midfielder Sarah Wiltshire, defender Renee Hector, and striker Bianca Baptiste, the club’s leading scorer in 2017-18. (It should be noted, however, that Baptiste’s twitter bio now reads “Spurs Ladies Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer” so it’s possible that she has moved into a new role at the club.)

New Spurs Director of Football Heather Cowan said this about the new squad:

“It goes without saying that we’re delighted to welcome some new faces to the Club, who bring a mix of talent, experience and, in some cases, extensive international pedigree to the table. It’s also fantastic that we’ve been able to retain 11 players from our promotion-winning side from last season.

“Of course, we’ve also had to make some extremely tough decisions regarding outgoing players. On behalf of the Club, I’d like to express our sincere thanks to those players who are moving on this summer. Whether they’ve been here for many years or a shorter time frame, they have all played their part in helping us get to this point and they leave us with our very best wishes for the future.”

With so many new pieces, it’s basically a new team, and manager Karen Hills will face an enormous challenge to create a cohesive team that will be competitive in the WSL next season. However, the additional players come to Spurs with top flight experience, and the remaining core from last season are mostly young, battle-tested and ready to prove themselves at the highest levels of English football.

It promises to be an exciting season!