Amongst a host of summer signings in 2018 Liverpool FC Women announced the capture of prolific striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk from Merseyside rivals Everton.
A top class professional, Courtney will wear the number nine shirt for the Reds this season with Jess Clarke taking up residence in the number seven.
Upon signing Courtney spoke about how she’d consulted her ex-Doncaster Belles team mates about playing for Neil Redfearn, saying that “they only had positive things to say about working with Neil so I am really excited to get the opportunity myself.
“Neil has made it clear that he wants to have a side that gets the ball down and plays good football so I am confident that this will suit my style of play perfectly.
“It is a fantastic move for me and I am confident that I can score many goals during my time at the club.”
Courtney’s confidence is a major part of her playing style and Liverpool fans who have been lucky enough to see her play during pre-season will have been encouraged by her all-around game – dropping a little deeper than normal during a tough battle against the Blues to help link the midfield to the attack and sparking the game against Blackburn to life.
The opening stages of the second half against Blackburn gave a glimpse into what we can expect to see from this team over the course of the season; Jess coming from the bench and linking excellently with Courtney and the trialist, the trio combining on a series of attacks that seen the Reds go two-nil up.
In that game Courtney registered an assist with a superbly drilled cross along the 6-yard box and completed the scoring by opening her LFC account in the closing minutes of the tie.
Against Leicester, the club where our new striker began her playing career, earlier this week Courtney came from the bench and once again was involved quickly in the thick of the action.
What was most impressive, particularly for me, about her introduction off the bench was the intensity with which she approached the game – entering the field with the Reds three-nil up yet showing no signs of taking proceedings lightly, fighting for every ball and every decision.
Exactly what you want to see from your centre forward.
Long-time supporters and followers of women’s football will have heard the name Courtney Sweetman-Kirk when she grabbed the headlines a couple of seasons ago smashing goals in left, right and centre for a resurgent Doncaster team.
Courtney was also the Blues top scorer last season, and I spoke to Everton Ladies Supporter’s Club Secretary & Match Day volunteer Julie Makin about our number nine.
Julie says that Courtney “is a grafter always gives 110% on the pitch, great team player with an eye for a goal or two.
She is excellent with fans always stops to chat and answer any questions. She will be loved by the Liverpool fans.”
These thoughts were echoed by Doncaster supporter Kyle Thornton who told me Courtney “pushes herself to the limit” and that we are “getting one of the hardest working players in the league.”
To have Courtney at the Reds, a proven goal scorer who will work hard, compliments the side Neil is building. The manager himself stating “”I know that a number of other clubs were interested in signing Courtney so we are delighted that she has put faith in our ambitions for the future and chosen to sign for Liverpool”
Welcome to Liverpool, Courtney – it’s going to be a great year…