Everton Women Looking To Challenge For Top Spot

Everton Women have been the complete package this season going unbeaten in the Women’s Super League so far with their 100% win record ending on Sunday with a draw at home against Brighton.

The Blues have had what has been described as a fairy tale season this year having improved significantly following their bottom of the table finish two seasons ago after getting beat by Yeovil Town Women who ended up getting relegated that season due to financial problems.

It’s no secret that the Toffees saw that as a let off and instead of hoping for the best the following seasons, they went out and made the necessary changes that needed to be done and are now reaping the rewards. They currently sit second in the Women’s Super League table with four wins and a draw in their first five fixtures as well as reaching the rescheduled FA Cup final set to be played in November.

The club have not won a piece of silverware since their FA Cup win in 2010 under Mo Marley with a side that consisted the likes of Fara Williams, Jill Scott, Jody Handley, Toni Duggan and Rachel Brown. Fast forward 10 years and they find themselves in the final ready to face Man City after beating Chelsea 2-1 at Goodison Park in the quarter-finals and Birmingham City 3-0 in the semi-finals.

Manager Willie Kirk has not shied away from highlighting their progress and their ambitions going forward. It’s not just on the pitch they have improved as their work off this pitch and behind the scenes is a contributing factor to the Everton team you are watching now.

The club have invested massively in their squad this season and now have a “strategic leadership team”, which includes the first sporting director and more money available for Kirk to recruit stronger and better players from all over.

England’s Izzy Christiansen signed from French Champions Lyon looking to restart her career. Australia forward Hayley Raso joined earlier this year alongside goalkeeper Sandy MacIver with both players now enjoying their football with Everton after having to wait a bit longer than expected due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scotland winger Claire Emslie is on loan from Orlando Pride in the NWSL, Ingrid Moe Wold from Norway and French forward Valerie Gauvin are all fitting in perfectly for the Toffees.

Guavin said upon her arrival on Merseyside that she ‘wanted to play for a side at the top of the table’. The striker has scored five goals so far this season and is quickly becoming a key component for the Blues. Upon her arrival, which supposedly included a six-figure fee, she said: “I wanted to come and play for a side that was competing towards the top of the table. I knew Everton had shown quite a lot of interest in me for quite a while”.

Speaking to Willie Kirk after the 2-2 draw against Brighton on Sunday, he spoke about the strides Everton have made over recent weeks and how clubs who face his side now are very happy if they take a point off the Blues.

“Looking at the points from the first five games we’re probably comfortable with that but it could have been better and that’s just the new standards that we have set and the expectations of ourselves”

“People are now seeing us as a big team who can be up there and challenging for one of the top three places”

The team currently have two weeks off due to an International break but after that the fixtures are coming thick and fast and against tough opposition too with Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea being their next three games.

Kirk said “That’s the weeks you want. Who wouldn’t want an FA Cup final followed by Utd followed by Chelsea. If you’re not wanting that week as a football player you shouldn’t be at this club because that’s the weeks we want”

He went on to joke that if his players where lacking energy for their final at Wembley then he will be looking into it. “If we’re lacking energy at Wembley on the 1st of November there will be a massive inquisition about that. The players will be energised and we’re looking forward to it”

Willie Kirk will be looking to get his first piece of silverware as Everton manager when they feature in the FA Cup final in a couple of weeks. You can watch Everton v Man City in the FA Cup final live on Sunday 1st of November with kick-off scheduled for 4:30pm.

 

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