In his latest column, Liverpool Ladies' boss Matt Beard reflects on Fara Williams' outstanding displays for England during the World Cup and the resumption of the Women's Super League on Sunday.
The performances of England and indeed our very own Fara during the World Cup has given the women's game a massive boost. Anyone that was sceptical about it would have seen the quality of the football that was played, especially in the latter stages of the tournament, and will have been very impressed. Hopefully the World Cup has made the women's game more appealing to commercial sponsors which is really important in helping develop ladies football.
I was delighted for Fara who had a great World Cup and scored some vital goals including the one that got England a bronze medal. I'm delighted for her because I know the sacrifices she made personally to get herself to the World Cup in the best possible shape physically and mentally. I personally felt Fara was England's stand-out player during the tournament, providing goals and assists. Both Fara and Asisat Oshoala showed on the world stage what top players they are and proudly represented Liverpool Ladies.
Because of the break for the World Cup we haven't played since May 10, so we can't wait to get going again when we travel to Arsenal on Sunday. I can tell you we have been working really hard in training and making sure we will improve on our first half of the season. I have been pleased with how we were playing but we need to start converting the chances we have been creating which has been a problem for us. At this moment in time I'm not sure whether Fara will be involved at Arsenal but we'll make a late decision on that. She is jet-lagged and played in every game during the tournament and we'll just see how she feels. I've told her there's no pressure on her to play because we have a lot of games coming up now in quick succession. We've got to look at the second part of the season which will be very important for us.
The next game Fara does play alongside Natasha Dowie will be their 50th appearance for the club which is very pleasing. I'm pleased where we are mentally with the group and considering how short a season we play, to play 50 games for Liverpool Ladies is quite an achievement in itself. They are great servants to the club and long may that continue.
Arsenal are currently second in the Women's Super League and six points ahead of us so we know just what an important game this is. Arsenal are a good team, they have signed good players and they like to pass the ball and play from the back. Technically they are very gifted and their movement is excellent. It's a very tough game for us to return to action but it's important we get the three points and put the pressure on them. Everyone is looking good and we can't wait to get going again.
Last week we bid a fond farewell to Nicole Rolser who went back to Germany to join Bayern Munich. In our first title winning season with us she was fantastic and a massive influence on us winning the league. She was probably our stand-our player that year. She goes with our blessing and she is a great character and a great professional. Unfortunately she only started two games in the last year and a half for us because of a bad injury. She supports Bayern Munich and it's not far from where she lives so she felt it was best to return home and get her career going again. We wish her all the best.
With Nici leaving us that gave me the opportunity to strengthen our squad and I'm delighted to welcome New Zealand international striker Rosie White to the club. I am really pleased that we have been able to secure the signing of Rosie as I have been keen to improve my striking options since the beginning of the mid-season break. I have watched Rosie for New Zealand a number of times and have always been impressed by her. Rosie will add something different in the final third for us and I am looking forward to working with her.
Thank you for your support as always,