WOMEN'S WEEKLY

Posted on: Thu 31 Jan 2013

With the 2013 Women's Super League getting underway in March, Chelsea Ladies return to pre-season training this coming Sunday, and Emma Hayes' squad will be bolstered by the arrival of five new signings ahead of the forthcoming campaign.

Eniola Aluko (pictured above) joined the club for the second time from Birmingham City at the beginning of December, having previously spent the 2008 season with us.

The striker, who has also enjoyed a spell in the US, is an England international and has been capped 63 times by her country, while also representing Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics, and will add a much-needed goalscoring threat to a side which finished sixth last season.

Katie Holtham was the next new addition, signing for the Blues from Doncaster Rovers Belles, and the box-to-box midfielder brings a wealth of experience - including captaining England Under-19s at the 2005 European Championships - to the club.

Following the arrival of two English players, we then brought two players to the club from Nordic countries.

Icelandic duo Edda Gardarsdottir and Olina Vidarsdottir arrive at Chelsea having represented their country over 150 times between the two of them, and their signings were quickly followed by the addition of Swedish international Sofia Jakobsson earlier this week.

Hayes believes our new signings will help bolster what was previously a relatively inexperienced group.

'They bring international pedigree,' she tells the official Chelsea website. 'They've been exposed to the biggest occasions, and they will help us develop a winning mentality.

'We already have a solid, young group, and the addition of these five players will help. We wanted to bring experience into a difficult league.

'We start our six-week pre-season campaign on Sunday, with our first FA Cup game to come in March. We now have a full-time training programme, and at least half of the squad will be training daily at Cobham, which is a big step in the right direction.'

The fixtures for the new season are still to be announced, but the FA WSL will be made up of eight teams, with the Blues joined by reigning champions Arsenal, Birmingham City, Bristol Academy, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Everton, Lincoln and Liverpool.

Stamford Bridge will play host to the UEFA Women's Champions League final on Thursday 23 May. Tickets for the game are now on sale.