Liverpool kick off their 2017-18 FA Women's Super League 1 campaign with a Merseyside Derby against Everton Ladies at the Select Security Stadium on Friday. Scott Rogers' side will certainly hope that they can build on last season's fifth place finish with an opening day victory over their neighbouring rivals and in turn rekindle some of their success from the 2013 and 14 seasons.
After finishing bottom of the table for two successive seasons, Liverpool appointed manager Matt Beard in 2012, who overhauled the squad and released the majority of his players.
The club went on to clinch their first Women's Super League title the following year - ending Arsenal's nine-year stranglehold on the women's game - and impressively retained the title the following season with victory over Bristol City on the final day. However, since Beard's departure to National Women's Soccer League side Boston Breakers in 2015, the Reds have seen far less success - with a 7th place finish in 2015, 5th place in 2016 and most recently they recorded a 4th place finish in the 2017 WSL 1 Spring Series.
Nevertheless, Rogers' has made some waves in this summer's transfer market, bringing in both high quality internationals and players with vital WSL experience, with the hopes of challenging the teams at the top of the table following an encouraging Spring Series campaign.
In's and Outs
Alike to most WSL 1 teams Liverpool have strengthened in the off-season, with comings and goings both before and after the Spring Series.
Liverpool signed England under-23 international Beth England on a season-long loan from Chelsea. This is unquestionably a positive move for the 23-year-old. The attacking-midfielder, who can also play as striker, found game-time hard to come by during her time with the Blues and with a move to Merseyside, England will no doutedly get the required minutes to help her progress.
The Reds were also busy before this year's Spring Series, bringing in the likes of Jess Clarke, Casey Stoney and Laura Coombs.
With new players arriving at the club, Liverpool also made strides by keeping their most favoured players among their ranks. Most notably, the Reds will certainly be buoyed by the news of Wales captain Sophie Ingle agreeing a new contract with the club. The 26-year-old has been a key player since joining from Bristol Academy in 2015 and was voted 2017 Liverpool Ladies Players’ Player of the Year.
However, a major loss for Rogers' side is of course Shanice Van De Sanden's transfer to UEFA Women’s Champions League holders Olympique Lyonnais. The winger had a formidable European Championships, as the hosts Netherlands ran out worthy winners, there was one shining star of the tournament and Van de Sanden's impressive performances on the biggest stage have earned her a transfer to one of the biggest club, if not the best, in the women's game.