Jessie Stapleton signs for Reading on loan from West Ham

Jessie Stapleton celebrates scoring Shels' opening goal in the cup final

Jessie Stapleton celebrates scoring for Shels in the 2022 FAI Cup Final Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

Republic of Ireland international Jessie Stapleton will play her football in the English Women’s Championship for the rest of the season.

The former Shels player has joined Reading on loan from WSL side West Ham United. The 18-year-old defender has been handed the number three jersey for the Royals.

Talking about his new signing Reading manager Liam Gilbert said: “Her versatility, experience, and abilities she possess in the defensive third gives us a new dimension and makes her a valuable addition to our squad."

Stapleton began her career at Cherry Orchard before playing underage football with Peamount United and at Shamrock Rovers, where she captained the Hoops’ under-17 side to the Women’s National League Final in 2020. 

The Ireland under-19 player of the year having made 71 appearances for Shels at the senior grade, scoring 21 goals for the club before making the move to West Ham United in July 2023 but has made only two appearances for the Claret & Blue this season.

Stapleton made her senior Ieland debut against the Philippines as a substitute in June of 2022 in a friendly match in Turkey but did not make the final squad for the World Cup.

She earned her second cap in Ireland’s last game, coming off the bench in Belfast in the 6-1 UEFA Nations League win over Northern Ireland last December.