'What dreams are made of' - Fahey and Furness on Anfield occasion

LFC Women'What dreams are made of' - Fahey and Furness on Anfield occasion

Published 24th September 2022
By Steve Hunter

Liverpool FC Women captain Niamh Fahey and vice-captain Rachel Furness have shared their excitement ahead of Sunday's Merseyside derby with Everton Women at Anfield.

Matt Beard’s side got off to the perfect start in the Barclays Women’s Super League when they recorded a 2-1 win over reigning champions Chelsea Women at Prenton Park last weekend.

Thoughts quickly turned to an evening in front of the Kop in L4, with a big crowd expected for the 6.45pm BST kick-off on Sunday.

Ahead of the eagerly anticipated derby, read on as Fahey and Furness tell Liverpoolfc.com why they can’t wait to step out on the Anfield turf…

Niamh Fahey

On the morale-boosting start to the season…

A brilliant start for us and I’m sure not many people would have predicted a Liverpool win, but we are quietly confident we can compete with anyone on our day. We rode our luck at times, but it was a great performance and Katie Stengel had nerves of steel to slot away two penalties. You wouldn’t expect anything else from Katie, to be honest, she is coolness personified.

On the great work being done with the squad by performance psychologist Dr Francesca Champ...

Fran has done some brilliant work with us. It’s probably subconscious a lot of work we are doing off the pitch with Fran, it’s slipping into our mindset and how we are reacting to setbacks. It’s definitely evident from the Chelsea game, because our reaction was brilliant. We didn’t crumble when we conceded early and we just reset. All that work with Fran is definitely helping us.

On words of comfort for striker Leanne Kiernan after her serious ankle injury against Chelsea

It’s really unfortunate for Leanne and I’m gutted for her. It’s such a shame, especially with Anfield coming up on Sunday, and I know her family are coming over for that. I said to her she had been looking so sharp as well, but injuries are part and parcel of football. We will be there to help her through her recovery and the injury process, but she’s young and she will bounce back better than ever. She’s got to take it on the chin now but she will have all the girls there supporting her.

Highlights: Liverpool FC Women 2-1 Chelsea

On the chance to lead a Liverpool team out at Anfield as captain…

Surreal, really, massive pride and a huge honour to be able to lead this group of girls out. It’s going to be something else. It’s hotly anticipated and it has come around quickly now. I’m trying not to think about it too much because I don’t want to get too distracted with the emotion and I want to be able to play the game properly as well. It’s obviously going to be a massive day for me and my family, captaining a Liverpool team at Anfield.

On an evening kick-off under the Anfield lights…

It’s a special place. An evening kick-off just adds to that extra atmosphere as well, so hopefully it’s a special day for us and we can get the three points. That’s the main thing. We want to win this Merseyside derby, so we are fully focused.

On local midfielder Missy Bo Kearns getting the chance to play at her beloved Anfield…

She is excited and she has had a great pre-season. She made her first WSL start against Chelsea and she is taking these steps in her stride, which is credit to her. She is only a young kid, but she’s got shoulders and maturity beyond her years. She is going to relish this, a Scouser playing at Anfield - this is the stuff of dreams for her.

On a captain’s message for the fans coming along to Anfield on Sunday…

Be as loud as possible and get behind us because there’s a group of girls here who sweat blood and tears for this shirt. I absolutely love this team, so we will give the passion and hopefully we get it back from the stands.

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Rachel Furness

On the brilliant celebrations against Chelsea…

That just shows how hard we have worked in pre-season and just what it means to every single player and every member of staff. You’ve just got to look at the celebrations and the togetherness that we all showed. We’ve shown that throughout pre-season and we have really kicked on and added more from last season.

On why she wasn’t surprised by the performance from Katie Stengel…

Katie does that every day in training. She is horrible to play against! I remember saying to her going into that second half against Chelsea, ‘Be more like you in training, have that confidence and have that belief.’ She really showed that in the second half and thoroughly deserved them two goals.

On receiving a knock to her head against Chelsea…

I want to do what I can to help this team and if that means going up for a 50-50 header and taking one for the team then I will do that. If I can contribute in any way, whether it’s with my head, my feet, or just my physical presence being on the pitch then I will try my best. I was fine to play on, thankfully. Obviously, it could be serious a head injury, but I’ve passed all the concussion tests and I’m feeling good and raring to go on Sunday.

On the chance to play at Anfield in a Merseyside derby…

It’s what dreams are made of, isn’t it? Since signing for this club it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, to play at Anfield and represent this club, the city, the badge, everything about it. We are very excited for the weekend but we are switched on to business. We are not going to get overawed by the occasion, it’s going to be fantastic, but it’s business at the end of the day. We have put the hard work in on the training pitch to try to get a result on Sunday.

On the challenge of facing Everton…

As competitive as the WSL is, it’s derby day and the previous results go out the window. Yes, we’ve got great momentum going into it, but Everton have got a point to prove because they are better than their result at West Ham. It’s derby day, it’s literally about who wants it more on the day and let’s hope that’s us!

On parading the FA Women’s Championship title around Anfield last season…

That was an unbelievable feeling for the whole squad. The support that we got from the fans was unbelievable. We do hope they will come in their thousands again on Sunday, and with it being the men’s international break it’s a perfect opportunity to come and support the women’s team. We are hoping we can play some good football, put on a great show for the fans, but ultimately try to get the result.

On the manager’s message that it’s important to play the game and not the occasion…

One hundred per cent. We are going to Anfield before this Sunday so we aren’t taken back by the whole occasion. It’s about playing the game, sticking to our game plan, working very hard on the training pitch to take it into Sunday. Let’s not get carried away and just focus on getting three points.

Published 24th September 2022