Summer is in full swing for the Women’s team, including the transfer season even when things have been quiet around the World Cup. Liverpool Women have actually gone out and made a couple of exciting signings, following the departures of Leandra Little and Laura Coombs. The squad was thin enough as it was after last summer’s mass exodus, so to lose two more players felt like quite the blow. Liverpool was quick to make up for the losses by announcing their replacements this week.
Becky Jane was announced as filling the fullback position from Reading, having appeared in over 100 matches for the club during her eight years there. Jane was instrumental in helping Reading win the FA WSL 2 league in 2015, guaranteeing the team promotion into the first division and signed her first professional contract with them in 2016. She has 16 career goals to her name, roughly two a year at her time with Reading.
Our manager Vicky Jepson had this to say about Becky following the signing: “Becky is the first signing of the summer and I’m delighted to welcome her to the club.
“She’s a reliable Women’s Super League player who’s been loyal to Reading for many years and will bring a lot of experience to our club.
“She’s a quick attacking full-back, which is something we need in our squad, so she will certainly add quality and I can’t wait to get started with her. I’m really looking forward to having a full pre-season with the team.”
Becky Jane herself was positive about the signing, expressing her excitement to the club about the days ahead and the prospect of working into the team.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Jane. “It’s going to be a big change but one which I’m really excited about. I think it’s time for a fresh start, I had a great time at Reading but it’s time to move on.
“From playing against Liverpool for the past couple of seasons, they’ve got a good work ethic and a good team togetherness.
“Having spoken to Vicky, she’s what I need in a manager at the moment, she’s very player-focused and gives confidence to the players.”
Later on in the week Liverpool announced their second signing of the summer, bringing in winger Melissa Lawley from Manchester City (!!!). The jury is still out on why a player like Lawley, with over 50 appearances to her name — including time in the Champion’s League — and two FA Cup titles with Manchester City, would want to leave a club like that but their loss is our gain.
“I’m really excited to welcome Mel to our LFC family,” Jepson said of this particular signing.
“She’s a proven, quality Women’s Super League player, she’s exciting in the final third, a 25-year-old international player who has lots to bring to our club.
“She’ll bring so much to our squad in terms of creating and scoring goals in the final third.”
Lawley started her career through the Bristol Academy before moving on to Birmingham City and playing three years with them before moving on to the blue side of Manchester in 2016. It does sound like her time at Manchester was not as magical as it might appear, considering she only scored one goal for them in the three years that she was there, compared to her six for Birmingham previously.
“I’m so excited to get back to playing football and enjoying my football again,” Lawley said during her signing. “When I first spoke to Vicky, she turned my head straight away. The plans and the visions she has for this club excite me.
“Watching Liverpool at the end of last season, they finished on a high and I believe this squad has something special that I can add to and hopefully get Liverpool back to where we should be.
“I’m ready to attack pre-season now and show everybody what I’m capable of and with Vicky’s help, I believe I’ll be playing my best football at this football club.”
Both signings definitely bring an excitement to the club that we’ve needed to build on, although it feels very much already two steps forward, two steps back. Not long after the announcement of these signings, two more players departed “by mutual consent” — Yana Daniels and Jasmine Matthews. Both had come to the club last summer during our reconstruction era from Bristol City, with Daniels making 21 appearances (eight of them off the bench) and Matthews making 14, although dealing with injury kept that a low number.
Liverpool appear to be on the right track with the players, though, and hopefully more are to come.