WILLIAMS JOINS CHELSEA LADIES

Chelsea Ladies FC is delighted to announce the signing of England international Rachel Williams from Birmingham City Ladies.

The 25-year-old attacker made her international debut back in 2009 and was also part of the 18-player Team GB squad for the London 2012 Olympics, with Hope Powell's side reaching the quarter-finals before suffering defeat at the hands of Canada.

Rachel is the first new arrival at Chelsea during the close season as manager Emma Hayes prepares for the fourth FA WSL season, which begins in April.

'I am very excited to join Chelsea Ladies after three successful years with Birmingham. I'm ready for a fresh challenge and feel that I can help the club get to where they want to be,' said Williams.

'The club is very ambitious and I feel that we can be successful in the future, I can't wait to get started.

'I worked with Paul Green (assistant manager) before at Doncaster Rovers Belles and he was a key part in me coming to the club.'

Rachel has been an integral figure at Birmingham since joining in 2011, scoring 20 times in just 28 appearances and helping the club win the FA Women's Cup in 2012.

In 2011, Williams finished as top scorer and was named the FA WSL's Players' Player of the Year, while she was also a league runner-up with Birmingham on two separate occasions. 

Since making her debut at international level four years ago, Rachel has featured 10 times for her country, scoring three goals.

At club level, Rachel began her career with her hometown club Leicester City, progressing through their centre of excellence to play in their senior side. Rachel was part of the Leicester team that achieved promotion out of the County League through three divisions into the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division.

In 2008, the attacking midfielder joined Doncaster Rovers Belles, where she excelled and broke in to the senior England squad. Rachel was the FA Premier League Player of the Month for October 2008 and February 2009, and was a member of the Belles side that lost to Arsenal Ladies in the 2009 FA Women's Premier League Cup final. She ended her first season with Doncaster as the club's Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year awards.

'Rachel is a terrific player and one that I've admired for a long time,' said Chelsea manager Emma Hayes.

'Her power and pace will give the team another dimension. She is international quality and will be a big hit with the fans as she wears her heart on her sleeve and will give everything in performances.

'This is the winning mentality we have been looking for and I'm delighted we do not have to coach against her as she is a nightmare for defenders to mark.'