BEARD IS CREDITED WITH REDS’ GROWTH
LIVERPOOL are losing much more than just a two-time title-winning manager this winter, according to striker Natasha Dowie.
Matt Beard joined Liverpool in 2012 and swiftly turned them into FA Women’s Super League champions the following year, with Dowie topping the league’s goalscoring charts.
Together they retained the trophy the following season, before a tricky campaign this year saw the Reds miss out on an unprecedented hat-trick of WSL titles by some distance.
Beard, who also worked with a teenage Dowie at Charlton Athletic almost a decade ago, has left the club to manage Boston Breakers in America’s National Women’s Soccer League – and his star pupil admits he leaves big shoes to fill.
“Matt Beard’s not just my manager, he’s my friend,” said Dowie.
“I came to Liverpool because of him and I’ve worked with him since I was 17 at Charlton. He’s really good at recruiting players – we’ve had some world class players at Liverpool and to be back-to-back champions and make history – there have been a lot of positives.
“I wish him well at Boston and hopefully our paths will cross again. I’m sure he’ll be great out there. It may not feel it at the minute, but he’s left the club in a much better position than what it was.The next manager has a lot of exciting players to work with.
“It’s hard to see him leave and we really wanted to finish with a win to see him off, but it’s typical of the highs and lows of football.
“I personally think this season has made me appreciate the highs even more. I don’t want another season like this and I think the experience will make us stronger as a team and as individuals.”
Beard’s reign came to an end earlier this month with a 1-0 defeat to Brescia that saw Liverpool knocked out of the UEFA Champions League 2-0 on aggregate. And he will be succeeded at the helm by his former assistant manager of three years Scott Rogers.
Liverpool had already finished second from bottom in WSL 1 and lost in the Continental Tyres Cup semi-finals to Notts County – just three days before the Brescia loss.
And, already trailing to Sara Gama’s goal in the first leg, Barbara Bonansea struck to put a full stop on a frustrating campaign.
“I think we played quite well but one little switch off has cost us an away goal and then it was always going to be an uphill battle,” added Dowie.“Looking back on the season, it’s one to forget with all the injuries we’ve had.
“It has been an emotionally draining season.”
FOND FAREWELL: Natasha Dowie is sorry to see her manager and mentor Matt Beard leave Liverpool