'I might do the Hendo shuffle, we'll see!'

LFC Women'I might do the Hendo shuffle, we'll see!'

Published 8th April 2022
By Steve Hunter

Niamh Fahey is incredibly proud to be captain of Liverpool FC Women.

Having secured the FA Women's Championship title with two games to spare last weekend, Matt Beard's side ensured promotion back to the Women's Super League was achieved.

Fahey is a lifelong Liverpool supporter and she cannot wait for the final home game of the season at Prenton Park.

The Reds will get their hands on the trophy in front of their own supporters when Sheffield United visit on Sunday April 24.

The big question remains, though, as to whether Fahey will emulate men's skipper Jordan Henderson and do the famous 'Hendo shuffle' during the presentation?

LFC WOMEN

"Missy Bo Kearns has been on about the Hendo shuffle to me already, so I think she will be the most disappointed one if it doesn't come out," Fahey told Liverpoolfc.com.

"So I can't disappoint the kids but I can't say for sure. All I can say is there has been talks!

"It's just fantastic to have the privilege and honour of being captain and also to win a league title – that's unbelievable stuff really.

"You can't dream of these things and I'm just so happy that we have managed to do it together as a squad and with this group of players and staff that we have.

"It's also special for our fans as well, giving them smiles on their faces again. It's unbelievable."

Fahey holds a very special place in her heart for the Reds, making promotion that little bit more meaningful for herself and her family.

"I have been a Liverpool fan right from a young age," she said.

"I've got older siblings and they kind of grew up in the '80s era when Liverpool were on top. Two of my cousins are massive Liverpool supporters as well.

"I went to school with one of my cousins and it was always Liverpool v Manchester United at break times and we'd always be on the Liverpool team.

"We had to endure a lot of stick from the United fans when they were on top back then, but I'm glad to say the tables have turned."

Highlights: Bristol City 2-4 Liverpool FC Women

Fahey was part of the Liverpool team that lost their WSL status during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now they have secured their return and there is a massive sense of pride in earning a place back in the top flight – especially as a key figure within the squad.

"It's surreal really, to be honest," she continued. "I feel so lucky to be at the club and contributing as well, and also being part of the positivity and the upward trajectory that we are on, because we had a couple of tough years. I'm glad to see we are going in the right direction now.

"To be a Liverpool player and seeing that badge on your chest just gives me extra motivation every time I'm on the pitch.

"It's been a mad time really when you take it all in during the pandemic and the different scenarios that led to me being captain of this team.

"There's been extra responsibility and added pressure, but I enjoy that and it's an absolute honour to wear the captain's armband for this club and I thoroughly enjoy it.

"Getting promotion is huge and it has been a fantastic season for us.

"There's been a lot of people from the outside saying we should be up there, but you have to go and do it. I think we've all worked so hard this season to achieve our goal of getting promotion."

The spirit, drive and determination to work hard for one another is at the core of the LFC Women's squad.

Their captain believes it has provided the foundations for what has been a hugely successful campaign.

"It's pretty evident, I think, when you've seen us at the end of every game when we've been together as a group and we've been united," said the No.5.

"It's not just on the pitch, but off it as well. We've always been there for each other and there's a tight bond between staff, players and everyone associated, and the fans as well.

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"The fans have had our back the whole way and they have been simply amazing and we can't thank them enough. The whole club is one and it's great to see.

"We were singing all of the supporters' songs for the players on our way back from Bristol – we were going through the whole repertoire! We get such a buzz and a kick out of it.

"They are amazing. I remember playing Sunderland away midweek in the Continental Cup and our fans were up there singing. It's unbelievable support from them."

During last Sunday's 4-2 title-winning display at Bristol City Women, Fahey notched her first league goal of the season.

She freely admits they are somewhat of a rarity, but Ashton Gate was the ideal place to get off the mark.

"They don't come around often, but I was delighted to get us in front," she said.

"Megan Campbell has got that weapon of a throw-in, which has been causing havoc, and it was just a case of being in the right place at the right time. I was happy enough to be able to contribute."

LFC Women have put a run together of 19 games unbeaten in the FA Women's Championship since the opening-day loss to London City Lionesses.

A huge factor behind the team's resurgence has been a change in system to three at the back.

Beard made the switch after the third game of the season and Fahey, at the centre of the three, has been instrumental in the outstanding defensive record that has ensued.

"It has suited us well," she added. "We had a bit of a disruptive pre-season due to COVID-19 and it took us a bit longer to kick into gear.

"When we changed the formation, it just became apparent that it suited us. It has worked well this season."

The skipper was also keen to pay tribute to her head coach and the staff who have helped guide the team to glory this season.

"The whole staff have been unbelievable," she said. "They have worked their socks off for us and they put us first for everything.

"They are so selfless really in the role they play and bringing us up to standard and getting us going every week. They have been incredible.

"I can't not mention the impact Beardie has had since he arrived. He is an unbelievable person. I only really crossed paths with him before, but I've got to know him this season and I've really enjoyed working with him.

"He's a great man and he cares for his players so much. There is a real caring side to him as well as his football ability and he has brought out the best in us all this season."

One standout performer throughout the campaign has been Fahey's international teammate Leanne Kiernan.

The forward has caught the eye by bagging 13 goals in the title charge – and it has come as absolutely no surprise.

"I'm absolutely buzzing for her," Fahey said. "What an impact she has had since she's come to the club.

"A terrific footballer and an even better person. I'm absolutely delighted she decided to come to Liverpool and she has been a huge part of why we are going up."

Liverpool FC Women champions range
5th April 2022

Pre-orderLiverpool FC Women champions rangeTo celebrate Liverpool FC Women becoming FA Women's Championship champions, the LFC online store has some fantastic items available ahead of the trophy lift.

Published 8th April 2022