Everton Ladies are dead and gone, and Everton Women have risen up from the ashes, stronger and hungrier than before.
Everton Ladies were relegated 5 years ago and then promoted back into the top tier 3 years later. They came in second to last place in their first fully professional season. Everton Ladies’ second season back was statistically worse; they scored very little and conceded often, lost twice to the worst WSL team ever, but still managed to finish in second to last place and survived to see another season in the top league.
Everton Women, however, will be different.
Forced to go by an antiquated term far longer than any other professional women’s team and virtually ignored by their club over the summer during the Women’s World Cup, the Blue Women are ready to make an impact so great that everyone will know their name. Their games can be viewed around the world for free via The FA Player app.
After suffering from the lowest attendance rates in the league, the team will begin playing in a newly renovated stadium not far from Goodison Park in October and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale has finally gotten the memo and made a statement about having a “one club vision.” She also mentioned that Everton Ladies had been a crucial part of women’s football history but that’s all in the past now. Women’s football is progressing quickly and the stakes are high when relegation is possible.
Everton Women have six new players:
- Scotland Midfielder Lucy Graham (from Bristol City, 2 year deal)
- Finland Goalie Tinja-Riikka Korpela (1 year deal)
- Dutch Defender Kika van Es (2 year deal)
- England youth international midfielder Molly Pike (was in the Chelsea youth system, 2 year deal)
- French Midfielder Maeva Clemaron (2 year deal)
- Esme Morgan (defender) (One season loan from Manchester City)
This season is not going to be easy. While Everton Women have changed drastically, so have many other WSL teams. Arsenal Women have only gotten stronger and they still have the highest goalscorer in the WSL ever, Vivianne Miedema. Manchester City are basically two thirds of the Lionesses and as if that weren’t enough, they have recently acquired World Cup Golden Boot contender Ellen White. Chelsea always finds a way to be in the Top 3 with their brilliant manager Emma Hayes and incredible resources.
Manager Willie Kirk is ambitious but realistic; he has admitted that Everton will have one of the “lower budgets in the league” and that they will have to “punch above their weight.”
Starting their season with a win against Birmingham will prove just how much fight the Blue Women have. Birmingham were excellent last season and finished in fourth place, only two points behind Chelsea. But their head coach Marc Skinner left in January 2019 and they lost their star striker, White, over the summer. In her place, they have Everton’s former striker, Claudia Walker, who will want to show her former club what they are missing out on.
Unfortunately, new signing Kika van Es will miss the beginning of the season due to knee surgery and Maeva Clemaron and Abbey-Leigh Stringer both went out of the last preseason game due to injury and no updates have been provided.
Gabby George, Chloe Kelly, and Hannah Cain are all back from injury and should be fit and ready to go on Sunday.
With a new identity and vision, the Blue Women are aiming to climb up the table. Everton Women will make us forget all about Everton Ladies and we couldn’t be more thrilled to cheer them on.
Everton Women at Birmingham City
Sunday 8 September
2:00 pm Local, 9:00 am ET
SportNationBet Stadium, Souhill Moors
1-0, Everton Women
Let’s go you Blue Women!
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