ANGHARAD James has signed a multi-year deal with North Carolina Courage, which will see the highly-rated Pembrokeshire footballer taking up a new challenge in the United States.

The Haverfordwest-born Welsh international, with 83 caps to her name, signed for Kelly Chambers’ Reading back in July of 2019 from fellow Barclays FA Women’s Super League side Everton.

James, a former pupil at Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych, said she was looking forward to joining Courage at the end of the season, but was also grateful for the opportunity to play for the Royals.

“I want to take the opportunity to say a massive thank you to everyone at Reading for making me feel so welcome during my time here,” said the 26-year-old, who hails from Llandysilio.

“I can’t thank Kelly and her staff enough, I only have praise and admiration for them, giving me the opportunity to grow and express myself, they’ve been instrumental in my development.

“I have made some unbelievable friendships, I can’t thank the girls enough for their support, and I wish them and the club every success for the future.

“I would also like to thank the fans for their continued support, it’s a shame they were only able to watch us twice this season, they are a loyal and lovely bunch.

“I will move to North Carolina in the knowledge that I gave everything to Reading, and I’ll continue to do so until the end of the season, so thanks to them, from the bottom of my heart.”

James began her career at Arsenal, joining their Academy in 2010 at 16 years old and making her first team debut in a 6-0 home win in the UEFA Women’s Champions League in October 2011.

Ahead of the 2012 season, James signed for Bristol Academy, but relegation prompted a move to keep her in the top flight at Notts County nearly four years later.

Newly promoted Yeovil Town swooped to sign James for the latter part of the FAWSL Spring Series, but in July 2017 she left the Glovers to join Everton, before then becoming a Royal in 2019.

The midfielder, who had played for Wales at Under 16s, 17s and 19s level, made her senior Wales bow at the age of just 17 back in 2011, and has racked up 83 senior international caps.

Reading manager Kelly Chambers said: “I’m extremely disappointed to be losing Haz, she has been a key member of the team and is a player that has developed so much over the last two seasons.

“I completely understand her decision to jump at the opportunity she has been given, I wish her the best in her new adventure and thank her for her huge contribution to the club over two seasons.

“Everyone at Reading FC Women would like to wish Angharad all the very best in the exciting next phase of her career in America.”