The remarkable rise of the Liverpool women’s football team continues as a new challenge awaits

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

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

Beating competition from Newcastle United Women to clinch top spot, the disappointment of past campaigns curtailed due to Covid and sorely failing to level up on more than one occasion in years past has been overcome in some style .

One person who has witnessed the club’s impressive rise is Liverpool Feds vice-chairman Sue Carmichael, who started as a player for the team in its founding days and then remained with the team for 20 years in total.

Summing up the club’s recent success speaking to ECHO, Carmichael said: “It’s amazing what we’ve achieved. The club was born out of a university team in 1990, and I was part of that team. We won successive leagues, then moved up to a combined league, where we got stuck for a while. The female pyramid has changed and the nature of the team has changed in terms of quality. The current team is of quality, with an excellent manager. We’ve been asking for a promotion for seven or eight years now, so finally winning it is a huge achievement.

“It comes down to the dedication of the club’s volunteers, of whom there are around 40 or 50. There are no full-time staff, we all 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 this funding, we would be in a really tough spot.

“It’s a huge commitment for the players. We are a team of doctors, policemen, researchers, teachers – people who work full time in positions of high responsibility. They only train twice a week, but that’s two full evenings of their time. You ask a lot of people, so last Sunday was a huge reward for all the hours people put in. »

Next season will see the Feds compete with 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 team is now the task at hand, both from the perspective of the player and the supporters.

“Our goal will be to establish ourselves in this league,” Carmichael said of ambitions for the 2022/23 campaign. “During this season, in a cup competition, we have played a number of teams which we will play next year. Obviously these were one-off games, so it is a question of making sure that we we can maintain that throughout the season.

“At our games we usually bring the players’ friends and family and we have a large youth section of around 130 children. Lots of people come more regularly, having seen the quality of the games and how exciting it is Bill Stewart was the very first coach of our team at university and he remained with the club as a manager, later becoming the chairman.He really wants the club to increase its quality and status in the region .

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. Zoe Tynan, who joined the Feds aged six before signing for Manchester City in the Women’s Super League in 2015 and later representing AFC Fylde Women in the top flight.

Tynan tragically took her own life aged 18 in 2016, although she is still a part of the club’s identity to this day. The name ‘Liverp8ol Feds’ appears on the club crest, with the number eight paying homage to the shirt number worn by Tynan for England.

The Liverpool Feds have held a charity match in Tynan’s memory every year since his death, except for a two-year absence due to coronavirus restrictions, and will invite 36 teams to take part in a tournament in Jericho Lane on Saturday, May 21.

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 just to support these charities, but to encourage discussion about mental health. Raffle tickets can be purchased for £1, which you can find here.

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