'We Will Compete In WSL 1'

Andy Spence has revealed plans are well under way for Everton Ladies’ return to WSL 1.

The Blue Girls were selected by the FA Women’s Football Board to replace the liquidated Notts County last week.

Spence was delighted at the news and says the Club will be ready to compete come September for the 2017/18 campaign.

“We are thrilled to be once again back in WSL 1,” the Ladies manager told evertonfc.com. “We have been working very hard over the past two seasons to achieve promotion and while we hadn’t managed it – despite coming very close in 2016 – we have been building towards a return to the top flight. You can see that progress in our performances during the Spring Series.

“We will be ready. We only have three months, as opposed to those WSL 1 clubs who have had the Spring Series to look at players and opponents. But we have watched plenty of WSL 1 games and I actually think our preparation has been perfect up to now. We have gained loads of confidence from winning games of football. We have a way of playing that we know and have enjoyed success with.

“We know, as a collection of staff and players, we are a confident group and exactly where we are going. It is brilliant to be back in the top flight once again.”

Spence admits he will have to strengthen areas of his squad in order to ensure Everton return to WSL 1 in style. However, recruitment is just one area where the Club will improve in the months before the campaign begins.

“We are looking already at recruitment,” he added. “We have had two trains of thought with that based on what division we were going to be in. The squad will be improved by the time we get to September.

“Elsewhere, we have already been making changes to the staff and the structure of the Club. At the back end of the Spring Series we had a number of sports therapists working with the lead physio, which meant the players are getting more and more attention in that department. We have a sports science team who are committed to ensuring we are the fittest, strongest, fastest team we can be. We had two nutritionists travel with the team so the players knew what to eat, when to eat and how to eat. That will again be a standard for us. We have had a psychologist work with us, which will carry on in to the new season. We will need every one of the staff to ensure we can compete.

“Whatever we do next season, I know we will be a success. I’m not daft – I don’t expect us to go straight in and win the league. But at the same time, I know we are not going into WSL 1 to compete for seventh or eighth. That would be wrong as an ambitious football club. We can’t go and say that staying up will do. It won’t. We want to go to a Man City, a Chelsea, an Arsenal and compete, home and away.

“It is exciting times for the club and we have received tremendous support from Robert Elstone and Denise Barrett-Baxendale.

“It is great to know that they support us and that we want to be the best. It doesn’t matter what aspect of the Club it is – the men’s team, the women’s team, the academy, the RTC – we want to be the best.”

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