At 28, Furness boasts key experience and knowledge and not just the current WSL level but on the international stage too, having been part of the Northern Ireland set up for well over a decade. Already a half centurion with the GAWA, Furness has been crucial in both boxes for club and country, racking up a solid 16 goals in her 53 apps for Ireland and was a bright spark in a forgettable second WSL 1 season for Sunderland in 2016.
Having staggered her time with the Lady Black Cats over two spells either side of a stint with Newcastle United and a year in Iceland with Grindavík (Knattspyrnudeild) Furness admitted that it was time for a change. With her contract running out at the end of 2016 and back of house changes coming in with the north west club the midfielder found it hard to say no to the Royals when they offered her a professional contract and the promise of a new challenge.
After speaking to Kelly Chambers, Furness was sure that a move to Reading was one “in the right direction”, the club with positive plans to “move forward”. After 12 years at Sunderland, Furness was glad to be leaving “on a good note”, her teammates already wishing her well with the next steps in her career.
With another solid player in the locker for the coming year, Royals boss Kelly Chambers had plenty to be happy about, referring to Furness as a “brilliant addition” to her team who can call upon her “great experience” to help the side. Known to Chambers as an impact player who’s had a say when Reading have faced Sunderland in the past, Chambers is expecting the same scale-tipping performances from Furness as she swaps her red and white stripes for blue and white hoops.
Currently ten weeks post-op following an ankle injury Furness will be unable to link-up with the Northern Ireland squad for their upcoming Portugal friendlies but is back running and will progress with her rehab at Reading.