by Sheridan Robins
Reading playmaker Emma Follis described her first few weeks as a full-time professional as exciting but tiring after landing a new contract following promotion to WSL 1.
The 23-year-old midfielder has signed after a fantastic season for the Royals and for her individually.
Having scored 20 goals in 23 games since joining from Aston Villa at the start of the Championship-winning season, she has been rewarded for the key role she played in winning WSL 2.
Follis told Women’s Football Weekly: “This has been the first full week of twice-a-day training and it is very tiring but unbelievably exciting.
“Our bodies are just getting used to it, but there is a great atmosphere around the club. It is also extremely professional and it is just crazy that I can call this a job as it really doesn’t feel like one.
“We have a number of girls now that are full-time, and some of the part-time players make up the numbers in extra sessions, which has been brilliant.
“I am sure we can expect to see some new faces in soon as well.”
The Royals won promotion to the top tier of women’s football with two matches remaining and secured the title on the final day of the season.
Follis believes that, despite having to adjust to a new league, they may just surprise a few people.
“I think we are all a bit nervous”, she said. “But we have also worked so hard for this opportunity that we are excited.
“I think we will be the underdogs in a lot of the games, but Sunderland had a great season having just got promoted.
“If we can replicate that, then we will be extremely happy – I just can’t wait to get started!”
Meanwhile, the Royals have agreed a two-year deal to play their fixtures at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park home.
The agreement will see all home matches in the WSL, the SSE Women’s FA Cup and the Continental Tyres Cup played at Wycombe from the start of the 2016 season until the close of the 2017 campaign.
Jon Horton, Reading Women’s general manager, is delighted with the club’s new ground – which also housed Premiership Rugby club Wasps until a year ago – and hopes they can develop further.
He said: “Adams Park is a great place for Reading Women FC to establish themselves and build a fan base to support our continued development within the women’s game.
“The staff and management at Wycombe Wanderers are very supportive of the introduction of women’s football.
“We are looking forward to working with the club and their [supporters’] trust to drive awareness and support for both clubs.”
Adams Park has previously hosted the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup final and the FA Women’s Cup semi-final in recent years.