Niamh Fahey: We have the squad to compete in the WSL - let's go for it

InterviewNiamh Fahey: We have the squad to compete in the WSL - let's go for it

Published 15th September 2022
By Steve Hunter


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Niamh Fahey doesn't see any reason why Liverpool FC Women can't be competitive and hold their own in the Barclays Women's Super League this season.

After captaining the Reds back to the top flight as they lifted the FA Women's Championship in 2021-22, the No.5 insists confidence is sky-high in the camp.

Due to last weekend's opener being postponed, Matt Beard's side will begin their WSL campaign with a home game against Chelsea at Prenton Park on Sunday, with kick-off set for 5pm BST.

Fahey is under no illusions as to how tough the challenge will be this term, but the Republic of Ireland international has no doubts the squad is well equipped to deal with the step up.

Read on as the skipper tells of her hopes and aspirations for the team…

On how much the squad are looking forward to the new season…

I'm excited. First and foremost, we can't wait to be back in the WSL. We had a great season when we got promoted and we will be hoping to try to continue that with a bit of momentum. It's a lot tougher a test but I think everyone is just really excited and eager to get going.

On how preparations have gone during the build-up to 2022-23…

Pre-season has been great. We've had some really tough games, we've learned a lot and been able to fine-tune a few things. Everyone has looked sharp and we've had a good pre-season. There's always things to improve on but as pre-seasons go, it has been good.

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On how the new signings are settling in…

Very good. They are part of the furniture at this stage, they have settled in really well. We have a cockney up north in Gilly Flaherty but she loves the place and she has settled in really well, along with Shanice van de Sanden, Emma Koivisto, Eartha Cumings. They have done well.

On playing a role as captain to help the new signings settle quickly…

I suppose it's part of my role to make people feel welcome, and I hope I've done that and will continue to do that. There's a great dressing room already there and there's a lot of big personalities and good people. They make everything easy for anyone coming in and straight away they feel welcome and supported and we've got people here to help them if needed. It's more about the group really.

On committing her future to the club and signing a new deal in the summer…

I was delighted to extend my contract. There's nowhere else I would rather be. Obviously captaining Liverpool in the WSL with Matt is great. I want to test myself with this group again in the WSL.

On the challenges faced by the team in the WSL…

It's going to be a really tough one, every game is going to be tough. The quality of this league has gone up since we were last in it, with international players coming in and the strength of depth in squads has vastly improved. I'm expecting a really tough challenge.

On this Liverpool squad being a lot stronger than the last time they were in the top flight…

Without a doubt. We are a lot more seasoned and we are stronger. We have seasoned campaigners, proven WSL players. When I first joined this club, we were very much in a transitional period for the club. There was a lot of changeover of players and we were trying to find our feet. We are totally different this time around. Matt has twice had the experience of winning the WSL with this team, so it's great to have a shrewd man like him and we are well equipped, I think, to deal with the demands.

On why she remains confident forwards Leanne Kiernan and Katie Stengel can replicate the goals they scored in the Championship at WSL level this term…

They will cause problems for defences in the WSL, without a shadow of a doubt. Leanne has played in the WSL with West Ham, so she has that experience, and Katie has a lot of experience at the top level. They are both proven goalscorers, so I've no doubt they will give headaches to defenders this season.

On what England's success in the Euros meant for the women's game…

It's huge and for the game it's massive. The interest it has generated and all the exposure for new fans and young girls, it's so good. We had 1,000 fans in for our pre-season game against Blackburn Rovers, which was absolutely brilliant and that was off the back of the Euros. It has generated so much interest and with England winning as well, it's a massive boost for the women's game here, Ireland and the other surrounding countries. It's going to push the game to another level and it's fantastic.

On how inspiring it was for the women's team being part of the parade through the city at the end of 2021-22…

It was huge. People know already how big this club is but that tour of the city really just opened everyone's eyes as to how huge it is to play for this club and what a privilege it is. Missy Bo Kearns knows it but I was talking with Megan Campbell and she just couldn't get over how good it was. You just see that passion that runs through this city for Liverpool and the reception was amazing. It just really struck home to everybody in this squad just what it means to play for Liverpool.

On a captain's message ahead of the new season…

My message is just to pick up as many points as possible. I don't think there's any game that we go into and believe we cannot get something from the game. We have that mindset. Let's really go for it, go after this season and see where we can finish at the end of it. I think we have the squad to compete, so let's get after it.

On the chance to play at Anfield in the Merseyside derby against Everton on Sunday September 25…

That will be a huge game and a huge occasion. Playing at Anfield and against Everton in a Merseyside derby doesn't get much bigger or better than that. Hopefully we can hit the ground running on Sunday and start to get some early momentum. I was fortunate to play at Anfield for Liverpool previously against Everton, but unfortunately we lost 1-0. We were all over them but just couldn't score. We shouldn't have lost the game but this is a different team and we will go into it with confidence.

Get your tickets to see LFC Women against Chelsea here, while Anfield tickets for the Merseyside derby start at just £1 for kids here.

Club captains sign book of condolence
12th September 2022

Club captains sign book of condolenceLiverpool FC captain Jordan Henderson and LFC Women captain Niamh Fahey visited Liverpool's Town Hall today to sign the official book of condolence.

Published 15th September 2022


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