WSL Transfer Round Up: February kicks off

WSL Transfer Round Up: February kicks off

The first competitive games of 2017 is coming up in the WSL and clubs enter February by strengthening their squads.

Katie Mishner

Transfers have been coming in thick and fast since the new year began, across the globe. And as the hypothetical hourglass runs out of hypothetical sand for the upcoming Women's Super League competitive fixtures, the English sides have been busy adding to their squads.

The trend continued as February began with an onslaught of deals flooding in, mostly from the WSL 2 sides that will play in the third round of the FA Cup this weekend.

Birmingham City secure Paige Williams

Following the signings of Ellen White and Sarah Mayling to spruce up Marc Skinner's side, Birmingham City have captured the signature of left-back Paige Williams. The deal means that the exciting young talent will stay with the Blues until May 2018

Williams is fresh off the back of two seasons abroad in Italy. Her time was not without success as the defender won the Serie A title and Coppa Italia with ACF Brescia during the 15/16 season. Following the victory, she spent a season at  AGSM Verona.

The 21 year old has impressed her nation too through the ranks, having participated in the Youth set up from the U-15 age bracket through to U-23 .

Even for her age, she has rubbed shoulders with domestic success as Williams was a runner up with Everton in the FA Cup. The mix of experience and potential is seemingly becoming a trend with Skinner looking at the newly appointed manager's recent signings.

Bee's prodigy Clarke signs her first contract

London Bees proudly announced that Evie Clarke, product of their development academy, has signed her first professional contract with the club. The news follows a series of positive signings and re-signings of players from last season. She will now wear the prestigious amber and black, number 10 shirt.

Clarke impressed during the Bees' last campaign in the WSL, scoring three goals in nine games. It was not just the spectators that the forward captured the attention of the England youth set up. Clarke has been training with the U-19 squad during the pre-season and is expected to feature in the camps and squads throughout the year.

The young striker displayed a strong on-pitch chemistry with top goal scorer Jo Wilson which earned her credit, in addition to being able to take her own chances.

The English Youth International told the club's website that she is "excited for the next chapter in her career" while coach David Edmonson expects that her progress will continue this year "as she continues to progress through the national team pathway." 

Aston Villa tighten up defence

Former Notts County centre back Alice Hassall has joined WSL 2 side Aston Villa ahead of the Spring Series. 

The defender's experience in the top tier of English women's football could prove invaluable to the Villa, who finished in sixth place last season. However, in the second division it is likely that the youngster will be able to secure game time that was harder to come across at her former top flight club.

The youngster is already keen to get started as she told the club website “I’m excited. It’s a new challenge. Hopefully I can get some game time. I’ve been training with the girls. It’s good fun."

Oxford United retain Holly Pickett

In a bid to compete and climb up the table, Oxford United have secured Holly Pickett's future at the club. The midfielder has been with the club long term, having moved up the ranks of the academy to make her full debut in 2008.

Last season Pickett was a regular feature in the starting line up sporting a number 11 shirt. Her work ethic and pace down the flanks has been integral to some of the upsets caused by the team that finished second from the bottom.

Her message upon signing the deal was a positive one:"I am happy to sign a new deal with Oxford United FC, I enjoy being apart of the football club. We are confident the spring series will give us an opportunity to gain momentum and a great platform to take us in to the beginning of the WSL2 season."