The Liverpool FC Women’s team are in the midst of their annual revamp during the summer. With so many players on one year contracts, there are usually quite a few changes from year to year. Over the past few seasons, we’ve seen players opting not to sign new contracts, with several stating their dissatisfaction with the training conditions and the tenor of the club behind the scenes. This year, there seems to be a bit more optimism despite the club spending a second year in the FA Women’s Championship.
Matt Beard was brought back as manager of the club, bringing with him a title-winning resume from the glory days of the LFC Women’s side with an eye towards rebuilding the side to push for promotion back to the WSL. The club locked down the services of local starlet, Bo Kearns, for at least one more season to kick things off. Now, the club have announced their first two new signings ahead of the next season.
First to ink her name to a contract was Leanne Kiernan. The 22 year old Irishwoman spent the prior three season with West Ham as a winger and wide forward, scoring 3 times in 19 appearances for the club. She has also played as a point striker for her national team, scoring 4 goals in 20 senior team appearances. Matt Beard brought Kiernan to West Ham when he was manager of the club.
“I signed her when she was 18, she’s grown up a lot over those three years and I think this is a good move for her and for us,” said Beard of the young striker. “I’m looking forward to seeing what she can produce this year. Leanne’s a versatile forward, she’s very quick and can score goals inside and outside the box. She’s an infectious personality and one of the biggest aspects is her work-rate and how she conducts herself, as I think it’s something we need in this league.”
Kiernan has been handed the number 9 shirt, signalling she will likely be deployed as a central striker. For her part, she is just ready to get on the field and contribute in whatever way she can.
“I’ve played as a winger for the last three years and I play as a striker for my country,” said the new signing.
“I just can’t wait to get back out there on the pitch with my new teammates and settle in with my new family here at Liverpool. The club is a great name and it definitely has great ambition. I really enjoyed the phone call with Beardie, and it grabbed me towards Liverpool and it’s just an exciting time to be here.”
Just a day later, Liverpool announced Yana Daniels as their second signing of the summer. Daniels previously played for Liverpool in the WSL during the 2018-19 season, making 15 appearances. She spent the last two seasons at Bristol City, playing under Matt Beard for part of this last season.
Daniels, who will be deployed as a winger, was handed the number 20 shirt for the upcoming season. She described how comfortable it was to sign again for Liverpool.
“It feels good to be back! I enjoyed my time at Bristol City and it was a tough end to the season there,” said Daniels.
“The style Matt plays just suits me, I like it and I just feel comfortable with the way he wants to play. To come back here and try to help put this club where it belongs, and the philosophy of Matt, just suits me. I believe that he can achieve something big here with his ability as a manager. I’m looking forward to meeting all the girls. There’s still a few around from a few years ago when I was here so it feels like home and I’m excited to meet the new players.”
Beard took some time to describe the type of player Daniels is, and how the 29 year old fits in with the current squad.
“Yana’s a great player, first and foremost,” said the Liverpool manager before getting into the details.
“She’s a little bit different to the players we have in the front positions at the moment. Yana can come in off the line, she’s good in the air, she’s a very technically gifted football player and she can create and score goals. This is a unique football club and Yana’s experience of being here before and understanding the pressures and what it means to be a Liverpool football player is something else we took into account. She was outstanding for me at Bristol and she’s a great person as well.”
There is still work to do to improve the overall depth of the squad, but these seem like two very good signings to start out with. Both players are familiar with the manager, and seem excited to play for him again. Let’s hope there is more good news to come soon!