ReactionMatt Beard: I'm so proud of the players and staff in what we've achieved
Matt Beard paid special tribute to his players and staff after Liverpool FC Women secured the FA Women’s Championship title and promotion back to the Women’s Super League.
Going into Sunday’s game with Bristol City Women at Ashton Gate, the Reds required just a point to win the division, but a 4-2 victory ensured promotion was achieved in style.
Captain Niamh Fahey gave the visitors the perfect start with an early goal and although the home side quickly levelled, Jasmine Matthews restored the lead with an excellent finish against her old club.
Katie Stengel grabbed her seventh goal of the season to make it 3-1, and despite Bristol City pulling another goal back, Missy Bo Kearns came off the bench to wrap up the three points.
The scenes at the final whistle told their own story, with outbreaks of joy amongst players, staff and supporters.
Since the opening-day defeat at home to London City Lionesses, Beard’s charges have been on a 19-game unbeaten run in the league and secured top spot with two games still left to play.
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The boss told Liverpoolfc.com: “Obviously we were delighted to get the game won today, it was a good performance and I’m really proud of everyone connected to the club.
“It’s not easy to go 19 games unbeaten in the league and I’m incredibly proud of the players and the staff with what we’ve achieved.
“I say this every week, but we work incredibly hard at the training ground, on the training pitch and you don’t go 19 games unbeaten in any level of football without putting the hard work in that we have done – and we’ve got the rewards for that.
“Everything comes down to hard work, and the atmosphere around the training ground has been absolutely brilliant.
“If you work hard and you’ve got a good atmosphere and you’ve got respect amongst each other, then these are the things that you can achieve.
“The players have had to be on their ‘A’ game and from my perspective it’s been a delight for me to work with them.”
Beard was also keen to praise the support and work of the tight-knit backroom staff at the club.
“They are different class,” he added. “Every day they come in and we challenge each other, we have good debates, we work incredibly hard. Every single person has had an input and an impact on this season. I’m really proud of them.”
The LFC Women boss of course reserved a special mention to the club’s loyal supporters, who made the long trip to Bristol to cheer on the team.
Main partner Standard Chartered had laid on free coach travel from Anfield, so fans could journey to the game in numbers.
Beard finished: “They are fantastic and they have been all season.
“We could hear them again today. It was a great atmosphere and we are delighted for them as well.”