After the success of the recent World Cup Women’s football is riding high at the moment, despite England’s inevitable defeat on penalties and the agonising loss via the same method for the USWNT against Japan in Sunday’s final.
But these girls are a tough bunch and domestic fixtures in England are set to get underway just a week after the end of the tournament in Germany – to think the men moan about being tired!
While the men’s team wilt in the Philadelphian sun back in the soggy UK the Everton ladies team are now all set to resume their FA Women’s Super League (WSL) campaign this weekend.
Unlike their male counterparts this team is actually good. After playing under various guises since the early 1980s the name Everton was adopted in 1995 and ever since the side have been one of the pioneering teams of the women’s game
They won the Premier League for the first time in 1998 and were runners up FIVE times in a row between 2005 and 2010, every time to Arsenal.
They also won the FA Cup in 2010 and the League Cup in 2008.They have also won the community shield twice in 2008 and 2009 as well as winning the Liverpool County FA cup three times between 2006 and 2008.
The WSL was launched this year as a replacement for the Women’s Premier League. It remains semi-professional with the long-term aim of turning fully professional in the future should it become a success.
Along with Everton the league is made up of Arsenal, Birmingham City, Bristol Academy, Chelsea, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Lincoln Ladies and - inevitably - Liverpool.
Mo Marley’s side have only lost once in the league so far, but they have only won once as well. Four draws sandwiched inbetween mean they currently sit in 4th place, ten points behind leaders Birmingham.
They make their return to action against Chelsea on Sunday at the Arriva Stadium in Crosby. Tickets are just £3 for adults and £1, so if you’re in the area do get down and give them your support. Here at RBM we will also keep you up-to-date with the Ladies side this season as part of our expanded coverage for the 2011/12 campaign.
But just who are the players in the famous royal blue shirt? Here is our guide to some of the key players in the Everton side:
31-year-old Brown is an established England international fresh from playing at the recent World Cup in Germany. Brown actually started her career at Liverpool but most of her success has been in a blue shirt, as well as the 73 times she has turned out for England. She is widely seen as the best goalkeeper in the country.
Easton is in her second spell at Everton following a brief time with Doncaster and has established herself as one of the most reliable members of the defence, winning 40 England caps into the bargain.
One of the most decorated members of the squad Unitt has won the Women’s Premier League FA Cups, three Women's FA Cups and two community shields as well as being named FA international player of the year twice. The 29-year-old also has 93 caps for England, scoring seven goals, and has had spells with Fulham, Wolves, Leeds and stateside with the New Jersey Wildcats.
A commanding centre-half Whelan won the FA Young player of the year in 2008 and played a crucial role in Everton’s 2010 FA Cup win. The 22-year-old has also represented England from Under-15 level before making her full debut last May in a friendly against Sweden
Goal scoring midfielder Jill Scott endured a bittersweet World Cup. Her individual performances earned her a place into the all-stars side but the anguish of losing on penalties in the quarter-finals to France will take time to heal. Hopefully Scott can channel that disappointment into more positive displays by for the Toffees, something she has consistently done since signing from Sunderland in 2006.
A true legend of the Women’s game, Williams has won 95 caps for England since making her debut as a 17-year-old in 2001, bagging 35 goals. In a decorated career she has won the FA Young player of the year in 2002, the player’s player of the year in 2009 and is a twice winner of the FA’s international player of the year in 2007 and 2009.