Reading midfielder and captain, Geogie Giddings, talks to Ruth Dacey about her move from Sweden and her work coaching in the community.
Georgie Giddings returns to England to join the Royals revolution as the team aim to make a big impact in their FA Women’s Super League début season.
Giddings is joined by an array of glittering new additions including Welsh internationals Helen Ward, and Nicky Davies and former Republic of Ireland captain Ciara Grant.
The former Chelsea player was with the London side for seven years before moving to America and playing for the University of Connecticut Huskies between 2009 and 2012.
After returning to England Giddings signed for Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies before quickly making the move to IK Sirius based in Uppsala, Sweden, but has returned to captain the Reading side.
“The whole atmosphere of the club appealed to me - there is a great sense of solidarity within the club and the team is filled with confidence after winning the South division last season,” the 23-year-old said.
“Everything has been coming together well, and Jane [Ludlow] has made sure she’s implemented her own philosophy about how we should play.
“We want to be competing at the top of the table but this season brings the unknown for all the teams in the division because of so many signings at all the clubs.
“As skipper I want to make sure there is unity in the team so everyone understands their roles and how important it is to contribute 100% if we want to succeed.”
The Royals will face a tough test with fixtures against the likes of Doncaster Rovers Belles, Aston Villa Ladies FC, Sunderland AFC Ladies and Watford Ladies FC in the second tier of the newly formed league.
With so much talent in the squad ambitions are high, and Giddings is confident Reading will be challenging at the top of the table come the end of the season.
“Looking around the team I don’t think we have any weakness at all- even anybody that would come on as a substitute is capable of making a big impact,” the central mid-fielder said.
“We have real quality especially Helen [Ward] who brings such a fantastic reputation up front- and her goal scoring record and work rate will make a big difference.
“Also Ciara’s [Grant] experience at the back is also going to help in key moments during matches and Lois Roache in mid-field brings great technical skill with her.
“For me Doncaster Belles and Sunderland are the two teams to watch but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be up there competing with them.”
Giddings, who is coaching for Reading in the community, hopes she can inspire youngsters to participate in the game and increase the number of supporters watching female matches.
“I’m loving coaching because it’s such great experience and my game is benefiting because I am working with a lot of boys that have experience playing,” the former Chelsea player said.
“I get to work in schools as well and it great because this encourages more people to come along and enhance the atmosphere whilst we’re playing.
“The women’s game keeps improving and I hope attendances and participation in the sport continues to increase.”
By Ruth Dacey