InterviewRachael Laws on Melwood: 'This is now our home - it's really special'
Rachael Laws admits it may take some time for it to truly sink in that Melwood is now Liverpool FC Women's day-to-day base.
The Reds performed their first training session at the iconic facility in West Derby on Tuesday afternoon.
It's the start of a new and exciting chapter for the club ahead of the 2023-24 Barclays Women's Super League season, with Laws overjoyed at the move.
"It's a bit surreal," she told Liverpoolfc.com from Melwood. "I actually don't think it's sunk in yet.
"We came in last Thursday to have a look around and everyone was a bit lost for words, didn't really know what to say.
"I know people have visited here and there last week when things were getting done in the week before. But to come in and this is our home, it's special, it's really special. I think that's the word I'm probably going to use for a while.
"This is our home, it's a place we call home, it's a place where we can hopefully make a lot of memories. It's really, really special. That's probably the word that comes to mind."
Liverpool's preparations for the upcoming WSL campaign continue on Wednesday afternoon with a friendly away at Manchester United Women.
Now able to utilise the benefits of their elite training ground, Laws and her teammates are out to build on the seventh-placed finish they achieved last term in their return to the top flight.
The goalkeeper continued: "We're not just settling for making up numbers in this league, we want to compete.
"We had a meeting last week and we kind of set out our aims and objectives for the season. We're not just here to make up numbers, we're here to compete.
"We're Liverpool Football Club, it's a worldwide club. We wear that badge on our chest with pride and we go into every game wanting to win. It's the same in training – it's so competitive at the moment and I think that little competitive edge in training we are taking into games now, which I think is really important.
"We're not here to make up the numbers, we are here to compete and a facility like this can only bode well for us in the future."
Matt Beard's squad has been bolstered this summer by the arrival of seven players, with striker Sophie Roman Haug from AS Roma Women the latest.
The signing of Teagan Micah has increased the competition within the goalkeeping department for Laws.
"If you're happy and you're comfortable, you're probably in the wrong job or you're probably ready to retire," the No.1 said. "That's how I look at it certainly and bringing Teagan in is very good for me.
"I think we work well with each other and [we have] young Faye [Kirby] coming through as well, who is obviously on loan.
"But all over the squad we have competition and I think if you're being pushed, you can only get better and only better yourself.
"Again, that's how I'm looking at it. Teagan's come in to push me and I've come in to push her. I think it only bodes well for whoever plays on a Sunday, whatever day it may be.
"In training, you've had to perform well to start in the team on a weekend. That goes from one to 11 and it's not just me.
"He's brought in very good people but very good players as well. The people side of it is great because obviously we all get on, we are a very close group. But as players, we needed competition and we've certainly got that this year."