Bellew Visits Everton Ladies

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Ladies manager Andy Spence has enlisted the services of new WBC cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew to give his side a few tips on coping with pressure and expectation as they fight for promotion from WSL 2.

The Bomber knows plenty about being in the spotlight – he won his world title with a third round knockout of Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park back on 29 May.

The Ladies, meanwhile, have the weight of promotion favourites on their shoulders and so, with 11 games to play starting with the trip to Sheffield FC on Sunday, Spence brought in Bellew to give some advice on how to manage that expectation.

The 30-fight veteran discussed his career, overcoming set-backs and how he prepared mentally and physically for his big night at Goodison.

The Toffees also added Chloe Kelly, Rosella Ayane and Krystle Johnson on the final days of the transfer window, and Spence was eager for Bellew to sell his beloved Everton to his new additions.

“Tony is someone who represents Everton and loves the Club,” he said. “A little bit behind the thinking of bringing him in was to speak to our new faces about how much it means to be a part of Everton.

“He is a fantastic example of someone who has worked so hard and has been rewarded with success, and was an ideal person to come in and speak to the players.

“The messages that he has been able to get across to the players have been fantastic. I can only be appreciative of him giving up his time to come in and see us.”

Captain Michelle Hinnigan believes the squad can take plenty away from Bellew’s visit and is keen to put the tips they received into practice against Sheffield. “It was brilliant to have someone like Tony, a world champion, come and give us a few motivational words, something that we do need going forward,” she added.

“We are fighting for promotion and he has had a career fighting towards winning a world title. It was great for the girls to listen to how he has coped with expectation and disappointment along the way.

“Hopefully we can take that into Sunday and kick off the second half of our season with a win.”

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