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7 new signings & home at Melwood – Time for Liverpool to build on WSL foundations

Seven new signings, a new contract for the manager and a seventh-placed finish to improve on, a big season awaits Liverpool Women in 2023/24.

It is finally here, the new season is around the corner for Matt Beard’s side. They meet Arsenal on the opening day, 127 days after their final match of the previous campaign.

A lot has changed in the time between the abovementioned games, notably the squad that Beard, who recently extended his contract, has assembled for another assault on the league.

After finishing seventh in the league last season with 23 points, there will be a clear objective to use that as a foundation for what is to come.

With the new campaign to shortly get underway, here is all you need to know.

 

Ins and outs

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 05: (THE SUN OUT.THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Liverpool Women Unveil New Signing Sophie Roman Haug at AXA Training Centre on September 05, 2023 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

New signings:

  • Teagan Micah – Goalkeeper
  • Jenna Clark – Defender
  • Grace Fisk – Defender
  • Marie Hobinger – Midfielder
  • Natasha Flint – Forward
  • Mia Enderby – Forward
  • Sophie Roman Haug – Forward

Throughout the summer there were changes aplenty across the squad, with nine players permanently departing and seven new faces arriving.

Experienced figures in Megan Campbell, Ashley Hodson, Leighanne Robe and Rhiannon Roberts all departed, as did last season’s leading goalscorer Katie Stengel.

After scoring just 24 league goals in 2022/23, the fourth-fewest in the division, the arrivals of Flint, Enderby and Haug are pivotal for the Reds in ensuring the pressure is not firmly on the defenders.

There is optimism for what can be achieved this season, and they will be test from the start with their first three league opponents all finishing in last season’s top six.

 

Pre-season record

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 20, 2023: Liverpool's team huddle before second half during a pre-season friendly match between Birmingham City FC Women and Liverpool FC Women at St Andrews. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

  • Birmingham (Lost) – 1-0
  • PSG (Drew) – 1-1, lost 2-1 on penalties
  • Atletico Madrid (Lost) – 2-1
  • Man City (Lost) – 1-0
  • Man United (Lost) – 3-1
  • Leicester (Won) – 3-1

Preparations for the 2023/24 campaign have been different to the norm, quite considerably too.

The women’s World Cup, hosted by Australia and New Zealand, forced the campaign to start in October and time with one’s club has not been straightforward for players.

An international break has come and gone on the eve of the campaign, which Liverpool prepared for with six pre-season friendlies against English, French and Spanish opposition.

The Reds won only their final match but showed promising signs by scoring in all but one, with Natasha Flint (three), Miss Bo Kearns (two) and Ceri Holland (one) all on the scoresheet.

 

Another derby at Anfield!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 25, 2022: Liverpool supporters during the FA Women’s Super League match between Liverpool FC Women and Everton FC Women, the Women's Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Anfield will host another Merseyside derby, an occasion that always proves one to savour, and this time will be no different.

The fixture takes place during the men’s international break on October 15 – kick-off at 4.30pm (UK) – and comes only a couple weeks after the team also play at the Emirates.

The Reds have not won either derby at the club’s spiritual home, losing 1-0 and 3-0, but let’s hope it’s third time’s a charm for Liverpool!

 

Moved into Melwood

A monumental step for Liverpool Women also took place in the shape of their own training facilities, which are at none other than the legendary Melwood.

After it was renovated, it is now home to Beard’s side and after years without a facility to call their own, it is a significant step forward for the team as they look to align their goals on and off the pitch.

“I think Melwood is a massive step in the right direction for us,” Beard said. “It’s game-changing, to be honest.

“For us to have the facility we have now, it really means that we can deliver and do what we want to do for the players.”

 

First 5 fixtures

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 27, 2023: Manchester United's Alessia Russo (R) is challenged by Liverpool's Ceri Holland during the FA Women’s Super League game between Liverpool FC Women and Manchester United FC Women at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)


The start to the new campaign will test the Reds from the off, with Arsenal – who finished third last season – to host more than 40,000 fans at the Emirates on the opening day.

Aston Villa will then make the trip to Merseyside the following week before cup action, the Merseyside derby and a trip to West Ham – five games in three weeks. Here’s to a good start!


Fans can tune into WSL action throughout the season across Sky Sports, BBC and the FA Player.