Liverpool Ladies have been busy recruiting players ahead of the new Women’s Super League campaign with Wales central defender Rhiannon Roberts the latest capture for the Reds.
Roberts, who is aged 27, says it was an easy decision to make to switch to Liverpool from Doncaster Rovers — where she helped the Belles to the WSL2 title last season — and the move means that she will once again team up with boss Neil Redfearn.
Roberts, who started her career with Blackburn Rovers Ladies in 2009 before penning a deal with the Belles three years ago, says the ambition at her new club was a huge deciding factor in making the switch.
“This is a great move for me and I cannot wait to work with Neil Redfearn again. Liverpool Ladies is a big club with real ambitions for the future so it was a move that I could not turn down.”
Redfearn, meanwhile, says Robert excellent defensive qualities will add a certain strength to the outfit’s rear guard. He knows all about those qualities, of course, having been the boss who used them to great effect when he was the title-winning Belles manager last term.
“I am thrilled to have been able to sign Rhiannon as she played an invaluable role for Doncaster Rovers last season as well as also proving her qualities with Wales in their World Cup qualifying campaign. She is an excellent defender who also has a real presence in the backline and I have no doubt that she will be a key player for Liverpool Ladies next season.”
The move come safer the Reds snapped up influential defender Leandra Little, who is aged 33, another former Belles player (in fact she was the club’s skipper). Again, Redfearn has been quick to speak of the experience and leadership qualities Little bring with her.
“Leandra is a real leader as well as being a top-quality defender with huge experience. She will be a massive influence in the dressing room this season as we begin a new era for the club.”
Arsenal, too, have added to their ranks with the capture of French keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin from Women’s Champions League holders Lyon. She has won three continental crowns and three league titles in two stints at Lyon either side of spells with Issy, Saint-Etienne and Marseille. Gunners coach Joe Montemurro said of the new signing:
“Pauline has experienced playing against some of the best female footballers in the world.”
Meanwhile, England left-back Alex Greenwood and keeper Siobhan Chamberlain are just two of 21 new players in Manchester United Women’s squad for the new season.
The club are poised to make their bow in the second tier after ex-England ace Casey Stoney was handed the role of United’s head coach. And she said:
“We’ve gone young, we’ve gone exciting, we’ve gone entertaining, I’m more than aware that we’re bringing 21 strangers together but I’m really excited about the squad and the future of this team.”