clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Women’s Merseyside derby at Goodison is a much welcomed respite from continued home stadium woes

We are thrilled for the match at Goodison but does it make up for the home stadium complications?

Liverpool FC Women v Everton Ladies FC - FA Continental Tyres Cup
Chloe Kelly is tackled by Sophie Bradley-Auckland during the FA Continental Tyres Cup match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC at Prenton Park on December 16, 2018.
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Everton Women’s match against Liverpool at Anfield back in November was a huge success — and not just because the Toffees won 1-0, but also because 23,500 fans came out to support them. A week later, however, Everton played against Spurs at their home stadium in front of only 150 people.

The Blues are going to get another chance playing in a big stadium on Sunday, this time at home at Goodison Park and the club is doing a wonderful job of promoting the match. Players like Theo Walcott and Yerry Mina have been expressing their excitement about the match on Twitter, Carlo Ancelotti visited the Blue Women to meet the Anfield derby winners, and the club has advertised the upcoming match with billboards all around Liverpool:

According to Everton.com, the Family Enclosure has already sold out and there is limited availability in Lower Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End and Sir Philip Carter Park Stand. Because of this, the club is opening up the Main Stand.

This is fantastic news. Watching a derby clash is always fun, but even better when it’s at a grand stadium like Goodison.

Manager Willie Kirk has always been up front about their usual home stadium, Southport, admitting it lacks atmosphere and by saying that it “just feel[s] like a venue that we play our home games at.” He also has bemoaned the state of the pitch, which you can take a look at yourself during their most recent home game:

The club is working on remodeling a new location for the team’s home stadium at Walton Hall Park, which is much more conveniently located, not far from Goodison Park.

The Blue Women had been scheduled to play at their new stadium in late October, but that had been postponed indefinitely only three days before the proposed start date. Shortly thereafter, the club announced that there would be four more additional games played at Southport until moving to Walton Hall Park on December 1st due to a “slight delay.”

However, the delays continued and Everton’s website kept selling home tickets at Southport. The next update didn’t come until 20 December, when the club announced that work on the new wouldn’t start until January 2020 and that the team would move to Walton Hall Park in February.

The 20 December announcement also stated that the home match against Chelsea on 3 May would be at Walton Park and that:

“Planning permission and Football Foundation funding has been approved for Everton’s new home at Walton Hall Park. Work is set to be part completed at the north Liverpool site by February 2020, with full completion later in the season.”

It is now February and the Toffees next home game is scheduled for the 23rd against Manchester United and as of right now, tickets cannot be purchased through the club’s website, although Walton Hall Park is listed as the venue.

Will the new stadium be ready in time for the May match against Chelsea? If so, that would mean that the Blues would play their last home game of the season in the new stadium and while that is way later than the proposed start date of October, it’s better late then never. As Kirk has said before, this team deserves “to be seen by a few thousand, not just a few hundred.”

In the meantime, we will be rooting Everton Women on no matter where they play. The derby at Goodison Park is a great way to give these athletes the recognition and conditions that they deserve while we wait for the new stadium to open.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Everton - FA Women’s Super League - The People’s Pension Stadium
Everton’s manager Willie Kirk on the touchline Brighton and Hove Albion v Everton.
Photo by Steve Paston/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images