Liverpool Ladies sent off England and Liverpool legend Casey Stoney in style this week. The Reds were coming off of defeats against both Manchester City and Arsenal, but rose to the occasion for Stoney’s final game and beat Sunderland Ladies 3-1 in an emphatic display.
Liverpool dominated the game from the start, and Jess Clarke’s first goal at the 18th minute almost seemed inevitable when it happened. Sunderland equalised quickly, but Liverpool came back in the second half ready to win. Jess Clarke headed in her second goal soon after the second half began, and Beth England made it 3-1 less than five minutes later.
In a testament to Stoney’s impact on the game, both teams gave the defender a guard of honour before kickoff, and Reds supporters gave Stoney a standing ovation in the final moments of the game. And her role is just going to expand after this.
Stoney will join the new national team coach Phil Neville’s coaching staff for the rest of the Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
“I want to place on record my thanks to my current manager, Scott Rogers, and Liverpool Ladies FC as a whole as they have been incredibly supportive of my decision,” Stoney said about her time at Liverpool. “To have been a small part of this great club’s history is something that will live with me forever.”
“I am thoroughly looking forward to working with Phil Neville, who is an excellent choice to take the women’s game forward. I talked to him at length before accepting the job and was hugely impressed with his vision, passion, and eagerness to learn. I will be doing everything possible to support him alongside finishing my coaching badges.”
“The women’s game has grown significantly in this country in recent years, which is something we should all be very proud of. The challenge now is to continue producing performances and results which encourage even more interest.”
Stoney’s playing career has stretched 23 years, in which the defender has won two Women’s Premier League titles, four FA Women’s Cups, and four FA Women’s Premier League Cups.