Article by Amy Laurence
Part 1: The History behind the Liverpool Women Reds.
With the new 2018-19 Women’s Super League season looming, it’s only right we take a real look into this newly named Liverpool FC Women’s football side. Taking it back to where it all began in 1989, all the way through to the present day where newly appointed (2018) Neil Redfearn manages the side.
Liverpool FC Women, or what was originally created as ‘Newton ladies’ was formed back in 1989. Shortly after that in 1991 they had their name changed to ‘Knowsley United WFC’. They remained in the National Premier League for most of their early career but due to several reasons in 2001, they were relegated to the Northern Division. After this there becomes a large period of floating about the different Women’s Leagues. After being promoted back to the NPL in 2004, they were once again relegated back to the ND. You’ll all be very pleased to know that Liverpool FC Women’s top rivals are indeed, yes still Everton. The Merseyside Derby will forever be a momentous occasion, no matter the gender or time period.
As we all know, Liverpool FC as a whole has a vast magnitude of history, this doesn’t change for the ladies side either. With regards to the honours achieved by the side over the years, you can’t say we’ve been short of silverware… Winning trophies such as the FA Women’s Premier League (Northern Division) 3 times (2003/4, 2006/7, 2009/10) And let’s not forget the back to back winning FA Women’s Super Cup in 2013 and 2014, a extremely special achievement for the Reds. Amongst all that, Liverpool Women have always been competitive at the highest level. They’ve been the FA Women’s Cup runners up in 1994, 1995 and 1996 and also were runners up in 1993 FA Women’s Premier League Cup. In 2014 Liverpool Ladies FC (which the club was known at, at the time) were voted the FA Club of the year..due to their back to back title campaigns. I can agree that there are several dates and named just listed there, However, it’s their to get you to grips with the idea that we are a force to be reckoned within this industry. Alongside the silverware, back in April 2017, Liverpool FC Women agreed a third year deal with Avon. Making them become the first independent shirt sponsor the Reds have ever had. Liverpool FC Women have come through the hard times of defeats and relegation etc, but also cherished the brilliant times of winning the League and the Cup on several occasions.
After a difficult few seasons following the back to back title saga, Liverpool FC Women said goodbye to manager Scott Rodgers who had joined the club from Blackburn in 2014, was assistant manager to Matt Beard during the 2 winning campaigns and went on to manage the side from 2015 till 2018. Following his departure, this summer Neil Redfearn was appointed as the new reds’ manager. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Redfearn; he’s an ex-professional footballer with 1000+ career appearances for clubs such as Bolton, Barnsley and Scarborough. He’s managed several sides in his career including: Player/manager at Scarborough (2005/6), Leeds Utd (2014/15) and Rotherham (2015/16). His most recent managerial position was with Doncaster Rover Belles during the 2017/18 season where they won the Women’s Super League 2, having being 10 points clear at the top of the table and scoring a whopping 39 goals. There has been much deliberation as to whether Neil Redfearn is the right man to take this Liverpool Women’s side back to the top of the table, but with the recruitment and team cohesion he’s achieved so far this preseason and his vast experience we have no fear he will relish this opportunity and improve this side massively.
With every manager there comes a hard working team behind the scenes who help the season to run smoothly. During Scott Rodgers’ reign at the club, several backroom staff members were dismissed. Leaving Redfearn with a massive job to get that coaching team ready for the new season. Most recently appointed was Chris Kirkland, who’s taken up the Goalkeeper coach role. Having previously played professionally as a keeper before for teams such as Coventry, Wigan and Sheffield Wednesday he definitely doesn’t lack experience and knowledge of the role. Lets not forget he’s been a part of Liverpool history with his role in helping Liverpool to the 2004/5 Champions League final. An amazing goalkeeper who will be a massive role model for not just the youngsters of the side but also the older team members.
Following the 6th place finish in the 2017/18 season it was sad to see that several players were to depart from the club. Including names such as Captain for 6 years Gemma Bonner, the goal scoring Caroline Weir and defender Alex Greenwood along with many more high profile names. With the emergence of the newly created Manchester United side (Managed by Ex-Liverpool player Casey Stoney) several players have departed the Reds to go on and take on new challenges. A total of 10 players left the side over the summer, leaving a big job for the recruitment team at Liverpool. However, fear not! We’ve signed some boss players who are experienced, hard working and alongside players who have stayed, will form what’s been newly named as ‘Liverpool FC Women’. At the beginning of August it was announced that this side would be changing their name from Liverpool Ladies FC to Liverpool FC Women. In my opinion this move is more than just a name changer, it’s a game changer. It signifies the new birth of this Liverpool Women’s team, and the best is still yet to come
Article by Amy Laurence