VfL Wolfsburg swoop for Mary Earps
Earps joins the Wolfsburg ranks. Photo: ignite Talent

VfL Wolfsburg swoop for Mary Earps

English international to break new ground in Germany

Sophie Lawson

German champions add Reading number one, Mary Earps to their already stacked squad.

Rising star

Whilst VfL Wolfsburg have been busy dominating the Frauen-Bundesliga, wrapping up a second consecutive domestic double, Mary Earps has been helping Reading rise to a fourth-place finish in WSL.

The Nottingham native well used to the rigours of top-flight football from her time with the Doncaster Belles, Birmingham City and Bristol City before making the switch to join the Royals ahead of their maiden WSL 1 campaign in 2016.

Given full faith by manager Kelly Chambers, Earps fast established herself as the first choice at Adams Park, growing with her new team as they navigated life in the top tier. Recognised for her work over the first season, the 25-year-old edged out fellow England international Karen Bardsley as the PFA goalkeeper of the year.

The switch to a winter league has only seen Earps get stronger between the stick, her tally of eight clean sheets over the season (from 15 appearances) a league-high.

Her prolonged spell for Reading only seeing the 'keeper recognised on the international stage too, the 25-year-old up against stiff and established competition for a spot in the England squad, she has consistently been brought in as a second or third choice.

New era

Just the third English woman to play in the Frauen-Bundesliga – following on from Lily Agg (FFC Frankfurt) and Leah Galton (Bayern Munich) last year – Earps will break new ground as the first ever English goalkeeper to play in the league.

Joining a star-studded team, that has pulled players from all across Europe, England will be the fourteenth nation represented in the current squad with the addition of Earps.

Speaking about the move the goalkeeper said she was, “incredibly excited” to join the She Wolves, describing the team as, “one of the best in the world.”

Having already stepped out onto a German pitch when Bristol sparred with Champions League winners, Frankfurt in the 2014-15 edition of the competition, Earps knew it was somewhere she’s “wanted to play” ever since.

With her eyes on growing her game, the 25-year-old has cited a willingness to “develop as a player” as well as the desire to build on Wolfsburg’s success and carry it through to the next season.

Hailing Earps “ability and attitude,” team manager Ralf Kellermann is glad to have the goalkeeper on board, aware that it will be “a new situation” for Earps as she’s previously been the first choice and will be Almuth Schult’s understudy for the coming season.

Though he believes that the “environment will challenge” Earps to keep developing.