Who’s ready for a derby?
Everton Ladies General Manager, Aaron Little, spoke about preparing for their return to the WSL1:
“The whole Club has worked tirelessly this summer to prepare for the new season – from the players to backroom staff – and we hope that Evertonians can join us as we begin this new chapter, starting with the opening game of the season on Friday.”
Everton are back in the top flight of women’s football in England and want to prove that they belong there. New captain, defender Danielle Turner, spoke about the changes the team have made now that they are full-time:
“Going full-time was massive. It was the next step we needed to take having been a bit left behind in the past when other teams were going full-time. Now we’re training five or six days a week and you can see the benefits already.”
New signing Dutch international Marthe Munstermann spoke about her excitement for the derby:
“I can’t wait for the Liverpool match. It’s the first one of the season and it is a beautiful game. All the girls and the staff are talking about it and how special it is to play against Liverpool. I went to a men’s derby and loved it, so it is very special to start the season with a game like this.”
WSL2 top striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk is determined to make an impact straight away after being signed on transfer deadline day:
“It is a massive derby but I love playing in big games and high pressure games. I’m sure if I can score in that game it will help get me liked by the fans, players and staff really quickly! So hopefully I can put the ball in the back of the net in that one.”
Liverpool Ladies are a tough side with no less than four senior England players that were capped for the World Cup Qualifier 6-0 win against Russia, including goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain. Liverpool finished 4th in the WSL1 Spring Series and 5th in the 2016 season.
Everton Ladies had international caps in recent World Cup Qualifiers too, including midfielder Angharad James for the Wales win over Kazakhstan and striker Simone Magill for Northern Ireland in their defeat to Ireland.
Everton players Megan Finnigan, Chloe Kelly, and Mo Marley were a part of an England squad that finished fifth at the U-19 Euros, qualifying the young Lionesses for the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
Coach Andy Spence spoke about the buzz among the team about Friday’s derby:
“If I am being honest, if the girls could hand-pick a fixture to start the season with, then they would no doubt go for Liverpool first. They are as excited for it as much as the staff.
“We have played Liverpool in the last few years in cup competition and have been competitive in those matches. We have given them a tough game each time but unfortunately results haven’t gone our way. The last time we played each other, we pushed them to extra time in the FA Cup and were just edged out.
“So starting the season, it can’t get any better and we want to start the season with a win.”
We couldn’t agree more, boss! Come on you Blue Girls!
Friday’s derby will be aired on live on BT Sport 2 and BBC Radio 5 Live at 7.45 pm. Or you can purchase tickets here.
What result are you expecting as Everton Ladies take on the Liverpool Ladies?
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