On the Sunday history will be made as Everton women take on their Liverpool counterparts in the latest WSL Merseyside derby at Goodison Park for the first time.
The last one Everton ran out 1-0 winners.
We sent our roving reporter Erin and her dad Phil (because someone had to drive) and he sat down with the scorer of that Anfield winner Lucy Graham and her teammates Esme Morgan and Dutch defender Inessa Kaagmann, but not before Erin, 2, had megged them all.
It’s clear from spending a short amount of time that the players are a tight knit group who want to work together to bring success. They set themselves high standards and clearly felt that despite winning at Anfield they hadn’t played to their full potential. Something they desperately want to correct in the return match at Goodison.
I wanted to know what it was like being at Everton and what attracted them to the club. Inessa told me how she was impressed with the size and professionalism of the club but also that the squad had a warm family feel. Something that hasn’t changed with a new coach coming in. Everyone is made to feel welcome and they all take care of each other. She also mentioned how different it is to being in the Netherlands where they would often get recognised in the street or mobbed at the airport. In England its different they don’t get stopped and recognised at the moment. A situation that is appreciated but may change after the Euros which are being held in England in 2021.
Lucy explained how important it is in a tight league to be winning those games and taking points from the teams around us. The players will all have different approaches and emotions to the game but one thing is for sure they will approach it together and find away to win as a team.
Liverpool have been inconsistent since they last met and there is a confidence that they can win comfortably. Last season it was felt that if Everton were up against it they would struggle to overcome obstacles. This season is very different, they are finding a way to overcome difficulties and there is a clear resilience instilled in the squad. One such occasion was the atmosphere at Anfield was tough but this time with a crowd more behind them it could be a 12th woman as Inessa said to cheer on an Everton victory.
There was one final thing I wanted to know from the girls in blue. Who is more likely to get a date, a fatty in an Everton shirt or a fitty in a Liverpool Shirt. The response was unanimous. The fatty in the Everton shirt. All the proof you need that Evertonians are sexier.
If you want to get behind the Everton women and have the opportunity to watch a team who know what it takes to win at Anfield then get down to Goodison on Sunday at 2 o clock and raise the roof for the girls in blue. You can still get tickets for the match from www.evertonfc.com
What attracted you to Everton and how have you found life at the club?
I joined under a different coach but I don’t think that anything changes for me, it was so professional and big. I like the atmosphere at the club, its like a family everyone is made to feel welcome and everybody cares for each other.
What are the strong points to your game and what do you feel you need to improve on?
Lucy-I think our strongest point is our resilience and winning mentality last season, I wasn’t here, but if things weren’t going our way we wouldn’t come back. This season we have turned things around and even if things don’t go our way we find a way to manage it and we workout the problems instead of letting the game fizzle out
There have been a few new faces come in over the last few weeks, how have they settled in and how have the squad dealt with the changes?
Esme- I think they have settled in really well to be fair. I know izzy,for exampleknows a coupleof girls from previously and sandy(?) spent a lot of time here in the summer they have really integrated well. From my point of view it’s a really tight knit team and that will stand us in good stead going forward as well.
There have been 3 games so far since the turn of the year and league leaders Man City have beaten us, you have a game Sunday against Brighton who are a few places below than us, but still above Liverpool. how will having such a big game at Goodison affect you in this one?
Lucy- it sounds a bit cliché but we are just taking one game at a time and the game that comes first is the most important. It’s a big game in our league and its an opportunity to get points fromone of the teams in and around us. In terms of the Merseyside derby there is obviously a lot of emotion and individuals will handle that in different ways but as a team we will be together.
The game at Anfield was a tight 1-0 victory but Liverpool have been inconsistent since then. Are you confident of a victory and how will playing at goodison be different from playing at southport?
Inessa- I feel really confident that we can go and win the game, obviously we won the anfield game but that was a different atmosphere, it will be a great experience to play at goodison in front of a large crowd more behind us than them it will be like a 12th woman behind us.
Lucy– we all feel like that we have a point to prove, ok we got the win but we essentially underperformed and we will be wanting to put on a good show for the fans whocome out to support us.
Outside of football what is your life like?
Esme– I lead a pretty normallife, I don’t get stopped in the streets or anything and can eat in restaurants with no problems. I like it that way, you can just go about your business as you please. A lot of the girls in the squad are studying. There is a lot of academic stuff on the side in the women’s game which you don’t get so much in the mens’ sides.
Do you think as the women’s game grows do you think it will change?
Lucy- its already like that in Holland with players getting swarmed at the airport and with the Euros being held in England maybe that will be a catalyst for that but hopefully it doesn’t get out of hand, its nice to have a bit of privacy but its nice as well to be approached by fans sometimes.
Finally, would you rather date a fatty in an everton top or a fitty in a Liverpool top?
All 3- has to be the everton top doesn’t it.