Everton Ladies Head Coach Andy Spence insists he “knows 100 per cent where the Club is going” as pre-season plans continue to take shape.
The Blue Girls are currently in transition to becoming a full-time professional club after being awarded WSL 1 status , while a schedule of friendlies ahead of the new campaign are beginning to take shape.
Spence is excited to see the evolution of the Club and says it is an exciting time for the Toffees, especially with WSL 1 football to look forward to in September.
“For the first time as manager of Everton Ladies Football Club, I know 100 per cent exactly where we are going,” he told evertonfc.com. “It’s not ‘we might do’ – we are doing it, and we will do it with style, quality and passion.
“I have seen plenty of WSL 1 football, of course, but nothing frightens me. I am looking forward to watching our players test themselves against the best in the country.
“Our pre-season programme will include games against WSL 1 sides and I am not afraid to show our hand against clubs we will face in the league. We will be a really good side, with big hearts, who play great football with a real competitive spirit.
“There are great times going on at the Club at the moment. We are having a little bit of a break, which is important, but there is plenty of work going on behind the scenes to make sure we are as competitive as we can be.”
Part of that work is towards becoming a full-time Club. A number of players have already sampled life as a professional footballer after the conclusion of the Spring Series.
With Megan Finnigan, Claudia Walker and Gabby George all called up for England duty recently, the trio remained at USM Finch Farm to ensure they kept themselves ticking over before the European Under-19s Championships and the Nordic Tournament.
Spence was impressed with the manner in which they adapted to the programme set out and believes his squad will see the benefits from becoming full-time players.
“We have had the England girls in after the season finished and what was exciting was that we had them training on a full-time programme model,” he added.
“Certainly, Gabby and Claudia have been pretty much doing that all season anyway and another four or five have been close to that. But those girls lived as full-time players for a couple of weeks and you could tell because they were quite tired by the end of it!
“We had them in a 9am because they had a lot of work to get through in terms of rehab, pre-activation, gym work and training sessions. It allowed them to live the life and they have loved it – I know that because they wouldn’t let me give them a day off! Even that was a good learning experience for them because you can’t train seven days a week, even if at that young age we think we can.
“But those girls had a really good taste of what full-time football will be like and it really brought them on as well.”