Andy Spence saluted two-goal Danielle Turner after she inspired Everton Ladies to a 5-0 rout of Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.
The left-sided defender curled in a stunning first-half free-kick to make it 2-0 at the Select Security Stadium, before stubbing out any Brighton hopes of a comeback when she added the Blues’ fourth shortly after the break.
“We were joking with Dan the other day that she’s due a testimonial and that we’re starting to work on a statue for her,” a delighted Spence told evertonfc.com
. “Dan’s a super character and I’ve got so much time for her, not just as a player but as a person as well.
“She represents everything the Club stands for and she works incredibly hard. She had a difficult journey in terms of getting to first-team football because it took her four or five years to actually breakthrough from the reserves, as it was at the time.
"We had some really top, international-quality senior players ahead of her at that stage but she didn’t give up and I think that’s a really important lesson to the young players coming through now - you’ve got to bide your time and you might have to go through the whole range of emotions as a player.
“Dan’s been through that and she’s pushed on and, when she puts in displays like that, she’s got to be one of the best left-sided players, in my mind, not just in WSL 1 but WSL 2 as well.
“She’s an outstanding talent who works hard every day and I’m immensely proud of having people like Danielle represent the Club.”
Turner’s first came after Simone Magill had put Everton in front from the penalty spot, while Claudia Walker’s calm finish gave Spence’s side their 3-0 half-time lead.
And, having doubled her tally for the afternoon with a powerful close-range finish, Turner then whipped in the corner from which Georgia Brougham headed in to complete the scoring.
The result keeps the Blue Girls firmly in the hunt for the WSL 2 Spring Series crown as they welcome leaders Durham on Saturday trailing by three points but with a game in hand.
“We came off last week after a 3-3 draw with Doncaster disappointed because we’d thrown away a two-goal lead, even though we showed real spirit to come back and get that point,” added Spence.
“We set ourselves the target this week of making sure that, if and when we got a lead, we wouldn’t sit back or lose any focus but instead we would push on.
“We did that and that was certainly the message again at half-time when we were 3-0 up. There were some really good goals and good play in the first half and we didn’t want that to drop off.
"It was pleasing to go on and add two more and keep an all-important clean sheet.”