Two experienced Women's Super League One players arrived on the south coast this week, as the Seagulls confirmed the signings of both Fern and Aileen Whelan ahead of their inaugual Women's Super League 2 season.
The duo have both transferred from Everton Ladies, with whom they joined in May of this year. Aileen made her first start for the Toffees at Goodison Park against Watford, sealing a dream debut by scoring in a 4-0 win. Both players were part of the Everton side who clinched the WSL 2 Spring Series trophy in May.
The defender and striker bring a wealth of experience to a predominately in-experienced side. Fern initially joined Everton in 2005 - appearing in Everton's 2010 FA Cup final triumph over Arsenal Ladies, who they beat 3-2 in extra time - and only left the club in 2014 to join Notts County following the club's relegation.
The 28-year-old has represented England at Under-15, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-23 levels and has earned three senior international England caps.
Whelan was named UEFA's "golden player" at the 2007 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship as England reached the final.
Forward Aileen has played her trade with Rushden & Diamonds, Barnet, MK Dons and Nottingham Forest. During her time at Forest she competed at the World Student Games, winning gold, and also represented England internationally at Under-23 level.
Most recently Whelan has spent three years at Notts County, joining the club in their maiden WSL season.
Women’s assistant first-team manager Amy Merricks spoke to the official Brighton and Hove Albion Women's Website and spoke of her "delight" at welcoming the two players to the club.
Merricks said: “Both players have played at the very highest level, and their know-how will be vital heading into this season."
“Along with the signings of Fliss Gibbons, Danielle Buet and Ini Umotong, we are very pleased with how the squad is shaping up.”