United Women's five-year squad announcement anniversary

Thursday 13 July 2023 16:00

Thursday 13 July 2023 marks the five-year anniversary of Manchester United Women’s inaugural squad announcement.

The 21-player team boasted a blend of both experienced and young players, led by former England defender Casey Stoney. 

United contested the Championship in our first season, winning the title and gaining promotion to the Women’s Super League at the first time of asking. 

We’ve been in the top-tier ever since, achieving our best-ever finish last term, ending the campaign in second having been narrowly pipped to the title by Chelsea but securing a spot in the Champions League for the first time in the process.

The Reds also reached an FA Cup final, making our maiden bow at Wembley since the re-launch. 

Ella Toone was among the players who returned, having initially left our Academy, following the re-launch of the women's team.
“We’ve gone young, we’ve gone exciting, we’ve gone entertaining,” Stoney said upon the announcement of our Reds squad. 

“I’m really excited about the squad and the future of this team.” 
Plenty has changed over the last five years, but there are five of our inaugural squad who are still part of the club set up, four of which have surpassed 100 caps for United. 

Captain Katie Zelem, Ella Toone, Leah Galton, Kirsty Hanson, and Millie Turner all regularly play first-team football, with Hanson spending the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Aston Villa. 

While they are now be regarded as senior members of the squad after five years here, the Reds are still committed to adopting the ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough’ strategy that has been ingrained in the club’s identity for many years now.
Leah Galton is one of four players in the squad to become a centurion.
The signings of Grace Clinton and Evie Rabjohn are a clear indicator of that, while Maya Le Tissier, 21, was brought in last summer and became an instant success in the backline.

We’ve also seen promising Academy prospects in the form of Safia Middleton-Patel, Jessica Simpson, and Alyssa Aherne awarded professional contracts to support the pathway into the senior team. 

Five years ago, Stoney built a youthful team hungry for success. Fast forward to 2023, current boss Marc Skinner looks committed to continuing the legacy.