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Remarkable rise of Liverpool women’s football team continues as new challenge awaits

May 1 marked a special day in the history of Liverpool Feds Women’s Football Club.

A self-funded side founded in 1991, the Feds secured promotion to the third tier of the Women’s pyramid (National League Premier Division) after an outstanding run which saw the side lose only one of their 22 league fixtures in the 2021/22 season. The team, which is made up of part-time players, also reached the semi-final of the League Cup and the first-round proper of the FA Cup.

Beating off competition from Newcastle United Women to clinch top spot, the disappointment of past campaigns curtailed due to Covid and agonizingly missing out on moving up a level on more than one occasion in years gone by has been overcome in some style.

One individual who has witnessed the club’s impressive rise is Sue Carmichael, vice-chair of the Liverpool Feds, having started out as a player for the team during its founding days and then remaining part of the team for a total of 20 years.

Summing up the recent success of the club when speaking to the ECHO, Carmichael said: “It’s incredible what we’ve achieved. The club emerged from a college team in 1990, and I was part of that side. We won successive leagues and then got up to a combination league, where we got stuck for a while. The Women’s pyramid has changed and the nature of the team has changed in terms of the quality. The current side is high-quality, with an excellent manager. We’ve been pushing for promotion for seven or eight years now, so to finally win it is a huge achievement.

“It comes down to the dedication of volunteers at the club, of which there are around 40 or 50. There are no full-time staff, all of us do jobs outside of football. We have a very generous sponsor, who is a parent of two girls who play in our youth section, but that only scratches the surface. Without that funding, we would be in a really difficult place.

“It’s a huge commitment for the players. We’re a team of doctors, police officers, research scientists, teachers – people who work full-time in jobs of great responsibility. They only train two times a week but that is two full evenings of their time taken up. You’re asking a lot of people, so last Sunday was a huge reward for all the hours people have put in.”



Liverpool Feds Women’s coaching staff

Next season will see the Feds competing with the likes of Burnley, Derby County and West Bromwich Albion, a challenge representing an exciting chapter for the club. The team train and play their home matches at Jericho Lane, Aigburth, and are coached by two-time FA Cup winner Leanne Duffy. Continuing to raise the profile of the side is now the task in hand, from both a playing and supporter perspective.

“Our aim will be to establish ourselves within that league,” said Carmichael of ambitions for the 2022/23 campaign. “During this season, in a cup competition, we have played a number of the sides we will face next year. Those were obviously one-off games, though, so it is about making sure we can sustain that over the season.

“At our games, we usually attract friends and family of the players and we’ve got a big youth section of around 130 kids. A lot of people are coming more regularly, having seen the quality of the games and how exciting it is. Bill Stewart was the first ever coach of our team at college and he has stayed within the club as a manager, later becoming the chairman. He very much drives wanting the club to increase its quality and status within the area.”

There is a real sense of community associated with the Feds, who are keen to remember former players who have represented the team to play at higher levels of the game. One individual who achieved that dream was midfielder Zoe Tynan, who joined the Feds at the age of six before signing for Women’s Super League side Manchester City in 2015 and later representing AFC Fylde Women in the top-flight.

Tynan tragically took her own life at the age of 18 in 2016, though remains part of the club’s identity still to this day. The name ‘Liverp8ol Feds’ appears on the club crest, with the number eight paying tribute to the shirt number worn by Tynan for England.

Liverpool Feds have held a charity match in memory of Tynan each year since her death, with the exception of a two-year absence due to coronavirus restrictions, and will be inviting 36 teams to take part in a tournament at Jericho Lane on Saturday, May twenty-one.

Money raised at the event will be donated to the If U Care Share Foundation and the Darby Rimmer Foundation. The purpose of the day is not only to support these charities but to encourage the discussion of mental health. Raffle tickets can be purchased at a price of £1, which can be found here.

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