Watling joins Southampton FC Women


Southampton FC Women are delighted to announce the signing of experienced midfielder Ciara Watling from Championship side Charlton Athletic.

Watling began her career at Charlton before enjoying stints at Millwall Lionesses and Crystal Palace, followed by a return to her childhood club in 2020.

Watling, now 28, joins Southampton with a wealth of experience, both at club level and on the international scene, and adds to an ever-growing selection of senior players at Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s disposal.

The midfielder will also link up with international teammate Laura Rafferty, who signed on the south coast back in July, as Saints prepare for their maiden season in the FA Women’s National League.

Speaking about the move, and the prospect of representing Saints this season, Watling said: “I came away from Charlton and was looking for a new team and a new experience. I came in and I just enjoyed it. I think it’s a club that can develop me.

“It’s been great to see what the team has done, the way they want to go. They want to do what the men have done and work up from league to league. I definitely think with everything in place and the facilities, the management, the players, they can do that.

“For the season, I think we’ve got a real chance of even getting promoted again. I’m here to win things and I want to, whether that be the league, cups – that’d be great.”

Head Coach Spacey-Cale said: "We are delighted to add Ciara to the playing squad.

"The experience Ciara has enjoyed during her career, both within the Championship and internationally, will add a lot to our playing style for the upcoming season.

"Ciara is a strong, direct player who can operate in a number of roles and we look forward to working with her and developing her further."