Everton Women kick off the new season at home on a Euros high
1 year ago
Everton Women kick off their new football season this Sunday at home still feeling the high of the Lioness’s Euros victory.
The Blues will be at Walton Hall Park, unveiling new team members and a new manager as they aim to push for success themselves in the Women’s Super League.
They’ll be up against the dominance of big teams like Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea in the title race, but with support for women’s football at its highest ever level, Everton are hoping some of that Euros magic will rub off for 2022/23.
Ticket sales have enjoyed a boom right across the WSL and crowds in Liverpool will be able to watch some big names from this summer’s tournament.
Joanne Gaskell from Everton Women says the new season will give long-term fans, and those newly converted to the game, the chance to watch some of their favourite players in action.
“We have at least seven or eight players in our squad now who were playing at the Euros, including a lot of international players – a few from Sweden, Denmark and Italy – so there’s going to be some really high quality football on show,” she says.
Over the summer, new manager Brian Sorensen’s has made nine big signings to strengthen the Blues squad.
The latest is 22-year-old Norway youth international defender Elise Stenevik, who joined Everton from Swedish club Eskilstuna United, following forward Jess Park, Dutch striker Katja Snoeijs, Australia international Clare Wheeler, goalkeeper Emily Ramsey, forward Aggie Beever-Jones and Danish players Karen and Sara Holmgaard, and Katrine Veje.
The arrival of the manager from Danish club Fortuna Hjorring, where he won two league titles, a domestic cup and regularly reached the knockout stages of the Champions League, is another reason for fans to feel positive.
“He’s got a reputation for developing talented young players,” says Joanne, “and he’s worked with the likes of Pernille Harder who was the world’s most expensive women’s footballer until Keira Walsh’s record £400,000 move to Barcelona this week.”
When it comes to high profile players, Everton – who were one of the founders of the WSL back in 2010 – have got a decent track record of bringing through young stars as well as spotting talent.
Lionesses Nikita Parris and Alex Greenwood both came through Everton’s academy, Jill Scott had a long spell with the club and the scorer of England’s winning goal in the Euros final, Chloe Kelly, started her Women’s Super League career here.
This Sunday’s opening game against Leicester City at the purpose-built Walton Hall Park stadium is already heading for a sell-out, reaching the 2,000-plus capacity for a 1pm kick-off.
Joanne says it should be a great day out for families – and hopefully a winning start.
“One really great thing about women’s football is the family atmosphere, and the fact that the players are very accessible,” she adds. “At the end of games they’ll always stay behind for hundreds of photos and autographs, and on Sunday we’ll have lots of other things going on like giveaways and face painters, so it’ll be a full family day out.
“Ticket prices are really good value too, so it’s £8 for adults and £4 for children and seniors, and although we don’t have specific women’s season tickets, we do have a membership package which gets you in to all WSL fixtures.
“Over the summer women’s football has been everywhere and I think a lot of people have sat down and actually watched it for the first time and realised just how good it is.
“Hopefully that will carry over into the Women’s Super League and get more fans down to Walton Hall Park to come and watch football at the highest level.”