Everton Ladies Manager Willie Kirk told BBC Sport that he is planning on making a lot of changes this summer:
”We’re going to have six or seven departures and we’ll bring in six, seven or possibly eight players.”
It has already been announced that two Dutch players, midfielder Dominique Bruinenberg and defender Siri Worm, are leaving the club in June.
Midfielder Olivia Chance will be leaving Everton this summer as well. She was out the entire season due to injury, only making one appearance off the bench in the last game. Chance will be representing New Zealand in the World Cup this June.
Her farewell tweet thanks “Everton Men’s staff” for helping to rehab her, perhaps suggesting that the women’s team does not have a dedicated therapy staff working full-time with the women’s team, something Royal Blue Mersey wrote is a common problem in the women’s game in this article.
May 23, 2019
The club announced on Friday that backup goalie Becky Flaherty will be leaving at the end of her one-year contract this summer. She played one cup game under Andy Spence in September but no minutes under new manager Kirk, who started in December.
That leaves about two to three additional players that will be departing this summer, one of whom could possibly be Claudia Walker, who has been on loan to Birmingham since January.
Her chances at remaining at Birmingham have increased after their starting striker, Ellen White, left for Manchester City — and Walker seems quite happy at a club that finished in fourth place:
Found some familiar faces.— Birmingham City Women (@BCFCwomen) May 17, 2019
Three of our first team players here tonight are @BCFCRTC graduates #BluesNextGen #BCFC pic.twitter.com/xvuWj2n2X0
Even though Everton is already one of the youngest squads in the WSL, Kirk has told BBC Sport that he is looking to recruit young players:
”We’re bringing in younger players who we feel we can develop further, but being very mindful of getting that balance between improving the players while also being successful in the short term, because we cannot have a third season of finishing in that position, one off the bottom.”
Kirk has made a few other statements referring to Everton’s lower budget compared to other WSL teams, so it should be interesting who the club can recruit on such a tight budget. He told Everton.com:
“We’ll have one of the lower budgets in the league, but we’ll aim to punch above our weight and if we can break into the top half of the table that would fantastic.”
Everton did not fare well last summer when they lost their starting striker to Liverpool and their starting goalie Lizzie Durack to Chelsea (who is now their third or fourth string keeper, only having started one cup game this season). During the winter transfer window, Kirk brought in Emma Brownlie, a defender who played for Hibernian, a team in the Scottish Women’s Premier League, the top division of women’s football in Scotland that is not even semi-professional, let alone professional.
Kirk once admitted to SheKicks Magazine:
“We’ve absolutely no right to win the league on our budget compared to the top sides.”
Given the team’s goal drought, a new striker would be ideal, but keep in mind, Kirk has already confessed that the club is not providing a budget that would bring on a powerful striker like Ellen White because “we have not got a lot of money.”
Kirk recently told BBC Sport:
“At a club the size of Everton, there has to be a higher emphasis on winning.”
It should be interesting to see who the six to eight players joining the squad will be, considering they must miraculously not only be young and affordable but also capable of somehow propelling the Toffees several places higher up the table.