Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side might be two weeks into their 2021/22 campaign, but for Liverpool FC Women, their season is only just about to get started.
With Matt Beard back at the helm, six years after first leaving the Reds and having won two FA Women’s Super League titles with the club in 2013 and 2014, he’ll now be tasked with returning them to the top-flight following their 2020 relegation.
Having finished third in the 2020–21 FA Women’s Championship last season, ultimately falling short in the efforts to secure an immediate return to the WSL, Liverpool start their own new campaign on Sunday at home as they welcome London City Lionesses to Prenton Park.
And having won both the Standard Chartered Women’s Player of the Season and fans’ Player of the Season awards last season, Missy Bo Kearns is looking to enjoy another memorable year for the Reds following Beard’s return.
“When he was manager in his first spell, I was an U11 player and I was also a fan,” she recalls.
“I met him when we had a presentation evening and I am absolutely made up to be working with him because he can take my game to the next level.
“He is helping me with my weaknesses and I’m working on them now, so hopefully if I get that nailed on the head I can get to the next level and make my game better.
“He’s a good coach, he knows how to deal with players and the information he gives you is very good.
“I just want to keep making sure I perform as good as I can and if the team can perform as well, I feel we can do well and that’s what it’s all about.”
The 20-year-old came through the Liverpool FC Women’s youth academy before enjoying her senior breakthrough last year and being awarded with a new contract in the summer.
And, as a Reds fan herself, she is determined to push on to help Liverpool win promotion back to the WSL.
“I can’t wait to get started,” she told Liverpoolfc.com. “We’ve had a good pre-season and we are all ready to go now.
“We are starting to gel together as a team and in the formation Matt wants us to play, so we are really excited and it’s time to get to work.
“All the new players have settled in well. I think they have all brought different things to the team and they are all nice girls. We are quite a close squad which is good. It’s strengthened us and we want promotion.
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“Last season was a bit of a shock to us, to be honest. A lot of us are more experienced now in this league which I think will help us and we know what we need to do.
“We are more ready this season. Last season we had a bit of a chip on our shoulder with what happened with the relegation but everyone is over that now. We know where we want to be and we want to make sure we get there.”
She continued: “It’s going to be a tough game and most teams in the FA Women’s Championship have strengthened now and it’s not going to be easy.
“London City Lionesses have a good squad so it’s going to be tough but we are ready and we need to perform and get the three points.”
Following their enforced absence from matches because of the coronavirus pandemic, supporters will be able to watch Liverpool FC Women again at Prenton Park on Sunday (kick off 2pm).
And understandably Kearns can’t wait to play in front of a proper Reds crowd once again.
“We can’t wait to see them on Sunday and we’ve missed them so much,” she said. “The atmosphere they bring really inspires us as a team. Last season it was so quiet and sometimes you need them to get you through it.”
Tickets are on sale now at www.liverpoolfc.com/women-tickets, with adults priced at £6.50, with children and concessions (students, over 65s) available for £4. Supporters will be emailed a ticket PDF to print off at home or show on their phone at the turnstile, and will be using the Kop end of the ground.