Bethany England signs for Chelsea Ladies
England poses with her new coach, Emma Hayes, and her new jersey. (Photo: Chelsea Ladies FC)

Bethany England has joined Chelsea Ladies from Doncaster Belles.

Despite the rebuilding and exciting project going on in Yorkshire, England has opted for a switch elsewhere, with reigning WSL 1 champions Chelsea too good to turn down.

The 21-year-old scored 14 goals for the Belles in their promotion campaign in 2015 and, whilst she'll be a big loss for them, she could prove to be a key asset for the Blues.

England pleased with move - as is previous coach

Speaking to Chelsea's official website, a delighted England revealed that she believes she is ready for the step-up the move presents and that she is raring to go now.

The youngster described the move as "great" and the "challenge ahead" as one she finds "exciting," adding that she believes she is "at the stage in [her] career" where she feels ready to "test" herself "at a higher level" - something that will happen with the Blues, "not just during games but in every training session."

The England under-23 international continued, saying that it is "an honour" to be a part of the club and that she is already "looking forward" to "working with top players on a daily basis."

Someone else delighted with the transfer is Chelsea's assistant manager, Paul Green. Whilst at Doncaster, Green signed England and is looking forward to their reunion - as well as what the player can bring to his new team.

England poses with her new shirt and number. | Photo: Chelsea Ladies FC
England poses with her new shirt and number. | Photo: Chelsea Ladies FC

He revealed that the player is a "pleasure" to work with and that he is therefore excited about her arrival in South London. 

He continued, saying she is "a great character" who is "hungry to develop and improve her game." Despite her age, Green says she is a player with "a lot of experience" too, having played in the FAWSL a lot already, meaning she "knows what the league is all about."

Describing her as "the best player in FA WSL 2 last season," the Blues' assistant is confident that England can "add creativity and goals" to the team as she goes on to "prove to be a good addition to [a] talented group of players."

Chelsea strengthening all over

After such a dominant 2015 season, England's signing is just another indication that Chelsea are showing no signs of slowing this year as they continue to bolster their squad all over the park.

However, it's not just on the park they are strengthening, but on the bench too and deeper into their squad. Preparing to challenge on four fronts once more - defending their WSL 1 and FA Women's Cup titles whilst going for the FA WSL Cup and Champions League - they have recruited some real talent to ensure rotation can be done without reducing the starting line-up's quality.

England is the club's fourth signing of the window, following the arrivals of Karen Carney, Becky Spencer and Jade Bailey. Whilst the former is definitely a contender for a starting berth, if not a given, the latter two are likely to have to fight for their spots more, as England is expected to too.

Nonetheless, with Green saying the club are "look[ing] to build on last season’s achievements," this depth is essential, whilst the competitiveness that will come with it is invaluable.