Brendan Rodgers today sent a special message of support to Liverpool Ladies as they prepare to begin their defence of the Women's Super League title.

The Ladies start their new campaign against Manchester City at the Select Security Stadium on Thursday night aiming to open the new term with three points on the first step towards retaining their crown.

Ahead of the game, first-team boss Rodgers issued words of encouragement for Matt Beard and his squad.

He said: "The Liverpool Ladies start their league campaign tomorrow evening and I would like to wish Matt Beard and his team all the best for the coming season.

"The team and everyone connected with them did an incredible job last year in winning the Women's Super League title.

"I'm sure Matt and all the players know this time it'll be even more difficult, for a number of reasons.

"Firstly, they are champions; that means every team they face this season will raise their game a little bit more.

"The other big factor is that the competition has got even stronger, with other teams strengthening significantly. Manchester City and Chelsea, as well as the perennial threat of Arsenal, will have big ambitions and high hopes for success.

"However, I have no doubt the Liverpool Ladies are ready for that challenge and will face it head on.

"I would encourage all our fans to back the Ladies this season, as they try to defend their title.

"I'm sure it will be a fantastic occasion tomorrow evening when they face Manchester City at the Halton Stadium in Widnes, and hopefully there will be a strong turn out from Reds supporters to cheer them along.

"They certainly have my support and the support of everyone at our club."

For more information on Liverpool Ladies, visit their official website.