Albion's women are to resume training later this month.

Their Barclays FA WSL season ended in March with the Seagulls adjudged in ninth place on points per game.

They had also reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Albion’s first addition to their squad ahead of the return is goalkeeper Katie Startup on a two-year contract.

The 20-year-old former England under-19 international has joined from Championship club Charlton Athletic, where she was a regular after re-joining them in 2018.

Head coach Hope Powell said: “We’re delighted that Katie has agreed to join us.

“She has established herself as a top goalkeeper at Championship level and this is an opportunity for her to push her career forward in the WSL.

“She’s got all the attributes to succeed at this level, wants to improve and I think she will fit into our squad really well on and off the field.

“With Megan Walsh and Cecilie Fiskerstand here as well we have real competition going forward for the goalkeeper’s shirt and I’m sure all three will push each other on when we start pre-season training later this month.”

Defender Laura Rafferty and winger Ellie Brazil look set to return to action after serious injuries.

They have agreed new deals along with skipper Dani Bowman, top scorer Aileen Whelan, Kirsty Barton, Jodie Brett, Emily Simpkins, Victoria Williams, Rianna Jarrett, Fliss Gibbons, Danique Kerkdijk, Beth Roe, Megan Connolly and Kayleigh Green.

Lea Le Garrec, the French playmaker who turned down a new contract, has joined top-flight club St Fleury in her home country.

Danish full-back Mathilde Lundorf also declined an offer to stay with the Seagulls.

Powell said: “There is no firm date for when the season will re-start but we hope for some clarity soon so we can start looking forward and planning for a resumption of football.”