As Liverpool FC Women kick off their season this afternoon, The Anfield Talk’s Chris (@EmreCanderson) takes a look at the season ahead…
Liverpool F.C. Women’s summer has been an interesting one. It has certainly been one of immense change. It started with an exodus, with several Leo players leaving, including club captain Gemma Bonner.
She and Caroline Weir departed for Manchester City, while Kate Longhurst left for West Ham. Chelsea poached Sophie Ingle, and Bethany England’s loan spell ended.
Casey Stoney announced her retirement, taking up the role of manager for the newly formed Manchester United Women. She took with her several Reds: Siobhan Chamberlain, Alex Greenwood, Martha Harris and Amy Turner.
Manager Scott Rogers also left, in what looked a bleak situation for the Reds. He was replaced by Neil Redfearn, who set about restoring the Liverpool side.
He brought in two goalkeepers: Anke Preuss and Fran Kitching, the latter to challenge for the no. 1 spot alongside Becky Flaherty.
Also brought in were new captain Leandra Little, Jasmine Matthews, Sophie Bradley-Auckland, Rhiannon Roberts and Leighanne Robe to bolster the backline.
Niamh Fahey and Christie Murray were added to the midfield ranks, and the forward line was strengthened with the additions of Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, Yana Daniels and Kirsty Linnett.
The Reds have had a good preseason of preparations, starting with a goalless draw with neighbours and rivals Everton. This was followed by a 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers, with Sweetman-Kirk notching her first goal for the Reds, and then a 4-0 drubbing of Leicester City, with new signings Matthews, Roberts and Little finding the net.
The new signings seem to be settling well, which is massively important as the Reds look to register their highest league position since winning the title in 2014. They’ve yet to finish inside the top three since then.
With Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City dominating at the top this will be a tough task, but a fresh Liverpool side with a new manager at the helm, the Reds could definitely be in the shake up come the end of the season.
Liverpool F.C. Women start their season today, with a Continental Tyres Cup clash against the newly formed Manchester United Women, kicking off at 2pm at Prenton Park.
The FA Women’s Super League gets underway on September 9th, as the Reds face Arsenal away from home. You can view the full fixtures here.