Royals opportunity too good to pass up

This article is part of the Our CQ Winter Edition. To read the online edition click here.

Reading and Northern Ireland star Lauren Wade is counting the days until she can return to Coleraine

Lauren Wade is counting down the days until Christmas so she can return to Coleraine!

The Reading and Northern Ireland star is living the professional football dream that most of us can only dream about.

But friends, family and her hometown are never far from her thoughts as she told CQ magazine.

Lauren has been given another opportunity – if somewhat unexpected – to showcase her skills on the biggest stage of all!

The Northern Ireland international signed for top flight club Reading during the summer.

An early injury following her switch from Glentoran was frustrating but now she’s making the most of this unexpected crack in the top flight with the Royals.

The Coleraine woman has travelled the globe playing football.

She played in Scotland’s top league with Glasgow City and also played for Carson Newman Eagles in America and had a spell in Iceland.

She returned home to play for the Glentoran and work in the family business – Hugh Wade & Son Funeral Directors in Abbey Street, Coleraine.

A self confessed homebird and content with life, a phone call out of the blue was to alter those plans and now she finds herself pitting her skills against England’s top clubs and many of the triumphant Lionesses who starred in their country’s European Championship glory.

At 28, the chance to play in England was one she just couldn’t let pass by.

“I’m a homebird and I was enjoying life and had a happy balance between playing for Glentoran and working in the family business,” explained Lauren.

“Then I received the phone call about a possible move to Reading.

“It was a difficult decision because as I say I was very settled and really enjoying working for the family.

“But we sat down and discussed it and we decided it was too good an opportunity to turn down.”

So has Lauren found adapting to life with Reading difficult?

“Because I’ve been away before the transition was easier and I’m a lot more mature now.

“But it was still tough moving away. I miss seeing my niece and nephew, birthdays etc but everyone has been very supportive.”

The down to earth Lauren still hankers for home.

“I just love Coleraine and the North Coast!”

“There’s just a homely feel to the place. Everyone knows everyone else.”

Lauren never misses the opportunity to keep up to date with life back home and in particular what’s going on at the Showgrounds.

“Coleraine is the first result I look for.

“When I’m back home I’ll always be at a game at the Showgrounds with my grandfather (Hugh).”

Despite her busy schedule, Lauren also found time when she was living here to coach with the Harry Gregg Foundation.

“It has provided such a fantastic opportunity for the kids,” she continued.

Living just half an hour from Heathrow Airport, Lauren jumps on a flight home at every opportunity. 

But with her commitments at Reading, those opportunities are limited. 

Little wonder then why Christmas can’t come quickly enough!

“I just love getting back to Coleraine and heading to Portstewart Strand, my favourite place.”