Best XI: Reading & Chelsea Ladies star Helen Ward reveals her top team mates

This season on Offside Rule Podcast, we’ll be catching up with plenty of footballers – both current and former – to piece together their Best XI’s.

After Liverpool Ladies & Wales international Natasha Harding revealed her side last month, next up is another veteran of the FA WSL – Reading’s Helen Ward.

Also a Wales international, Ward has also played for big hitters Chelsea and Arsenal so rest assured the following team is full of quality…


Goalkeeper – Marie HOURIHAN

I’ve known her and played with her for a number of years and she is the hardest working and most professional player I know. She has been that way her whole career, before women’s football was anywhere near professional.

Right Back – Loren DYKES

Totally dependable and has a natural fitness and determination that means she can get up and down the touch line for 90 minutes even after long term injuries. Quick and strong and someone I love having in my team.

Centre Back – Kylie DAVIES

Solid as a rock. I’ve played with her for Wales, Chelsea and Reading and she just doesn’t get beaten. Reads the game so well and is the skill school champion.

Centre Back – Ciara GRANT

Loved playing with her at Arsenal. Class on the ball and one of the best headers of the ball I’ve seen. A legend on and off the pitch.

Left Back – Claire RAFFERTY

Great player who has shown such strength in character to come back from such serious injuries. Wand of a left foot and very quick. Great person to have in a squad.

Centre Midfield – Katie CHAPMAN

Would compliment my midfield so well and win everything in the air. Ultimate respect from her to have three kids and still play! Phenomenal energy and engine and grabs a game by the scruff of the neck.

Centre Midfield – Kim LITTLE

One of those players you dread playing against but love to play with. So graceful and finds positions on the pitch that cause the opposition so many problems. Her finishing is probably the best I’ve seen.


Best Welsh player there’s ever been. She leads by example and never, ever gives up. The ultimate box to box midfielder. Her ability on the ball is matched by her tenacity and is so good in the air considering she’s about 4 foot 10.


Not much I can say about Kelly to be honest. I didn’t have much time with her at Arsenal but what I did see was a genius. Has the ability to win a game on her own.

Left Midfield – Rachel YANKEY

In her prime she was unstoppable. Yanks would rip right backs to pieces and score goals for fun. Great character and a pioneer for modern women’s football.

Striker – Ellen MAGGS

I played with Maggsy for Watford and I reckon she assisted me for 90% of the goals I scored in the two seasons she was there. She could nutmeg a mermaid and was such a clever player. Biggest waste of talent I’ve seen. She could have been one of England’s best ever players in my opinion.


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