In her latest column, Liverpool Ladies captain Gemma Bonner looks forward to Sunday's final game of the season against Arsenal and tells us why it's important to send the fantastic loyal supporters home happy.
We play our final game of the season on Sunday evening when we host Arsenal at the Select Security Stadium and I can't quite believe how quickly the campaign has gone. We started off the season as a new group together and I think you can really see the progression since the beginning of the season. We are starting to see the potential we possess in the squad. It was a bit of a slow start for us as we took time to gel but you can see with the results towards the end of the season how well we are coming together as a group.
Looking back on our 2016 season, we have to see it as one of real progress. With new backroom staff as well as a big turnaround of players, most probably expected us to be in a season of transition and not to do as well as we have done, but we have put the hard work in in training and have seen the benefits on the pitch so everyone deserves a lot of credit for that. Having said that, we also realise we haven’t reached our full potential and that there is still a lot of work in areas of our game that we have to improve on collectively going into next year, which I'm sure our manager Scott Rogers will ensure we do.
I have known Scott for a good few years now with him previously being assistant manager. He has stepped up brilliantly to the manager’s role and I think he has got us playing some brilliant football this year. You can see that with the results we have had. Scott is young and is still learning but he deserves a lot of credit because he has done a really good job in his first season in charge with a new team. We are a young group who are constantly learning together and growing in every game and training session. Hopefully, if we can keep this squad together and continue to progress then over the next couple of years, I really do believe we can become really successful again because as I keep saying, the potential in this group is frightening.
We know we can finish in fourth spot in the Women’s Super League if we beat Arsenal and it is certainly an exciting game for us to end the season. Arsenal have been a well-established side in the women’s game for a long time. They have always had a strong core of players throughout the team have so for us to be up there and competing with them shows how well we have done this season. As ever we are expecting a tough game but our aim is to finish as high as we possibly can, and that means getting a win on Sunday. We beat Arsenal 2-1 back in July at Boreham Wood which was one of our best performances of the season. We managed to restrict their chances and got control of the game to cause them problems which we will be looking to do again in Widnes.
I would like to give a special mention to our amazing supporters who once again have followed us everywhere around the country this season. I know we always say this but they really are the best supporters in the league and they have been brilliant all season. To hear them chanting non-stop from the first minute until the last and singing our names non-stop is such a great feeling. It has been a while since we last played at home and we really want to put on a good performance for them on Sunday and hopefully give them plenty to cheer about. We really appreciate every single bit of support we get from them and we always do our best to make them proud.
On Monday evening we have our awards night at Anfield which is always a special occasion. For us it’s a chance to celebrate the success of individuals and what we have achieved as a team ourselves this year. It’s always a good night and hopefully we can go into it with the feeling that we have secured the three points against Arsenal.
Don't forget kick-off for the Arsenal game at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes is at 6pm GMT on Sunday.