The season ended in a draw for Liverpool FC Women on Sunday, with a 2-2 stalemate at home against London City, seeing them finish third in the championship.
After the misery of relegation from the Women’s Super League on a points-per-game decision in June, Liverpool set out to gain promotion from the first time around.
A turbulent campaign, however, saw the Reds struggle for consistency, and January brought the surprising departure of manager Vicky Jepson by mutual consent, with her side down eight points.
Amber Whiteley stepped in as Jepson’s interim replacement and presided over a streak of five wins, three draws and one loss in nine league games – with the loss being her first in charge.
Liverpool ended their home season against London City on Sunday, and they appeared to be heading for a confidence-boosting victory with goals from Becky Jane and Amy Rodgers taking the half-time break.
But Lucy Fitzgerald and Lily Agg recovered to a 2-2 draw, and with Durham beating Coventry United 7-1 elsewhere, the Reds had to settle for a third place finish.
Leicester – who inflicted the only league loss in Whiteley’s reign, as well as another in the Women’s FA Cup – have already been confirmed as champions with Liverpool being forced to prepare for another league season.
They could do so with a new manager, with former boss Matt Beard set to take the reins, although there is no confirmation yet as he is currently in charge of Bristol City, who will play their last Super League game. female on May 9.
There is a solid foundation to build on, with people like Jane, Niamh Fahey, Rachel Furness, Amalie Thestrup and Ceri Holland showing promising form over the past few months, but there are still issues to be addressed.
Beyond the manager’s job, the future of striker Rinsola Babajide will have to be resolved, as the 22-year-old has not appeared since his transfer request in January.
Liverpool could also preside over other changes to their squad, with some players likely to be interested in the Women’s Super League as additions are made.