Liverpool are back in the Women’s Super League after a two-year absence, and manager Matt Beard is ready to welcome an influx of new fans as the Reds aim to consolidate their top-flight place.
A dominant 11-point margin placed an exclamation mark on the Reds’ title-winning campaign in 2021/22, a gap that shot Liverpool from the Championship into the WSL.
It’s a different kettle of fish and that will challenge the Reds, who become the hunters rather than the hunted, but there is optimism aplenty and for good reason.
And Beard’s message is simple: “Come [watch], because the product is fantastic on the pitch, the players will run through a brick wall for the badge.”
Liverpool’s season gets underway on September 11 at Reading, but plans for this moment have been in place long before Niamh Fahey had her hands on the Championship trophy.
Goalkeeper Eartha Cumings, defenders Gilly Flaherty and Emma Koivisto and winger Shanice van de Sanden have all been added to the team over the summer. Top targets that add experience and know-how.
“With the players coming in, everyone that we brought in knows the WSL. Shanice played here before, has been away at Lyon and Wolfsburg, two of the biggest clubs in Europe,” Beard told This Is Anfield.
“We’re really pleased with everyone we’ve brought in so far and they’re going to add more depth and competition to the group we’ve already got.”
That group will know they will no longer have most games on their terms and need to be “tactically astute defensively” to make sure they are not easily beaten.
As a newly promoted side, Beard is keeping it simple as he looks to be competitive against the other 11 teams.
“We want to be as competitive as we can, the transition from the Championship to the Super League is a big jump, and I think we learnt from Leicester and Aston Villa‘s [promotion] experience over the last two seasons,” Beard explained.
“I think we all need to be realistic enough to know that we might not have as much of the ball as we had last year, but I think we have a team that can compete with anyone and, on our day, we can beat anyone.
“The goal is to do as well as we can.”
There is plenty of excitement over what is possible and the women’s Euros have only magnified that feeling, with Liverpool there with welcoming arms for any and all fans to come and watch.
“I’ve seen it over the summer with the Euros and obviously last year with our fanbase, the amount of dads and daughters coming to the game,” Beard said.
“Being a dad myself, it’s fantastic to see and everyone enjoys the game, they won’t be disappointed
“The women’s game is affordable for families to come to the game and that’s something that every club will play on. The product is there, the players are getting fitter and stronger every year.”
With the Reds back in the WSL and the women’s Merseyside derby to be played at Anfield in September, there is no better time to get on board and follow this talented and spirited group of players.
* Tickets for the women’s Merseyside derby at Anfield are available now from the official club site here.