Liverpool Ladies have made a number of changes ahead of the 2016 season, with new manager Scott Rogers’ side beginning to take shape.
Looking to put a disappointing, seventh-placed finish behind them with a strong campaign in 2016, the Liverpool Ladies squad has seen a host of comings and goings this winter.
Under new management, with Rogers taking over from the long-serving Matt Beard in October, the Reds will be pushing for the title this time around.
Rogers welcomes a clutch of new players to his squad, while Natashie Dowie leads those on their way out.
Dowie, who recently spent two months on loan with Melbourne Victory, has joined Doncaster Rovers Belles, having created a legacy on Merseyside.
The England star scored 19 goals in 21 games in 2013 as Liverpool won their first ever Women’s Super League title.
Joining Dowie through the exit door are Katrin Omarsdottir, Becky Easton, Ingrid Ryland, Line Smorsgard and Libby Stout, with the latter following Beard to the Boston Breakers.
Another title winner with the Reds, England international Fara Williams, has also departed, joining Arsenal at the beginning of January, days after being awarded an MBE.
Liverpool have also “reluctantly accepted” an offer from Arsenal for Nigerian striker Asisat Oshoala, with the 21-year-old’s move subject to work-permit clearance.
Replacing this outgoing troupe, Liverpool have signed Sophie Ingle and Siobhan Chamberlain among a six-strong group so far.
Scottish midfielder Caroline Weir has joined from Bristol Academy, while Laura Coombs has arrived on a season-long loan from Chelsea—last season’s WSL champions.
.@LFCladies can confirm that Netherlands captain @MandyVDBerg4 has joined the Club – https://t.co/gt5I7oZSH6 #LFC pic.twitter.com/FrKkRilrYe
— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) January 20, 2016
Rogers has bolstered his attacking line with the signing of Swedish international Emma Lundh, who joins from Norwegian side Lillestrom SK, and Lundh will be joined by fellow Lillestrom star and Netherland captain Mandy van den Berg.
Van Den Berg adds considerable experience to Rogers’ squad, who will be buoyed by news of captain Gemma Bonner’s contract extension.
Bonner, Martha Harris, Katie Zelem, Ashley Hodson, Rosie White, Kate Longhurst and Danielle Gibbons have all signed new deals with the Reds ahead of the 2016 season.
Speaking shortly after extended her terms, Bonner highlighted Liverpool’s ambitions for the season ahead.
“The Women’s Super League has some very strong teams in it and next season will be very competitive, but we have the talent and we have the belief to have a successful campaign,” she said.
“While we can never make promises about what we will do, the one thing I can promise our supporters is we will give it everything we have to try and make it a successful season.”
With a rejuvenated squad led by Bonner and driven by Rogers, the Liverpool Ladies can hope for success in 2016.
LIVERPOOL LADIES WSL FIXTURES, 2016
Birmingham City (H), Wed 23 March
Chelsea (A), Mon 28 March
Sunderland (H), Sat 23 April
Chelsea (H), Wed 27 April
Notts County (A), Mon 2 May
Sunderland (A), Wed 18 May
Manchester City (H), Wed 25 May
Manchester City (A), Sun 26 June
Reading (H), Sat 9 July
Notts County (H), Sat 16 July
Arsenal (A), Sun 31 July
Doncaster Rovers Belles (H), Sat 27 August
Reading (A), Thu 1 September
Birmingham City (A), Sun 25 September
Doncaster Rovers Belles (A), Sun 9 October
Arsenal (H), Date TBC, November