Club name: Everton Ladies
Nickname: The Toffees
Ground: The Select Security Stadium, Widnes
Last season: 5th
History: Everton Ladies were formed in 1983, originally as Hoylake WFC. The two-time FA Women’s Cup winners were one of the eight founding teams of the 2011 WSL, the same year they made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. For 10 years the Toffees were managed by former captain Mo Marley until 2012, when assistant Andy Spence took over.
Manager: Andy Spence
- Spence has managed the Toffees since November 2012, but had a long association with the club before that.
- Before taking the top job, he had been assistant manager since 2004, helping the club to the FA Cup in 2010 and the League Cup in 2008.
- Spence also had a stint as director of the Everton Centre of Excellence, which has produced players such as England international Toni Duggan.
Spotlight on: Fern Whelan
- Everton’s star defender Whelan will be back from injury this season after a lengthy spell on the sidelines nursing a serious knee problem. “I will be looking forward to competing at a high level again and being back amongst the squad is a brilliant feeling.”
- On the new two-tier league : “It can only be a good thing for the game. It will increase the competitiveness of each team and the importance of each game is massive.”
- On her odd match ritual: “One superstition I tend to have, and I don't really know why, is at half-time I tend to take off my boots and shinpads for the break and put them back on before going back out. Strange I know!”
Foreign players: None.
Transfers in: Megan Walsh (Aston Villa), Gabby George (Manchester United).
Transfers out: Jill Scott (Manchester City) Toni Duggan (Manchester City).
Star transfer: Gabby George
- Just 17 years old, George recently made the move to Everton from Manchester United's Centre of Excellence.
- The defender is the youngest member of Spence's squad and he says she has "significant potential."
- She has been capped at Under-19 level by England after playing regularly for the U17s.
Biggest pranksters: “I'd have to give that to either Michelle Hinnigan or Lindsay Johnson,” said Whelan. “They're always trying to play tricks on people - usually me actually!”
Best pranks that have been played: According to Hinnigan: "Filling someone's shoes with shampoo and throwing Fern Whelan's awful trainers in the bin."
Song they run out to: The theme from Z Cars. "Still gives me shivers every time I hear it," added Hinnigan.
By Victoria Polley