By George Hartley

30th Dec, 2021 | 10:00pm

Everton Women Expert reflects on 'disappointment' but looks forward to 2022

We’re delighted to welcome Peter MacFarlane, member of the Everton Women Official Supporters Club, as our exclusive Everton Women expert.

Peter MacFarlane is disappointed by Everton Women’s start to the FA WSL campaign.

The club completed their final fixture of 2021 with a defeat to Tottenham Hotspur but our resident expert is hopeful that things will turn around in the New Year.

Manager Willie Kirk was fired in October and replaced by Frenchman Jean-Luc Vasseur, a Champions League-winning coach.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News, MacFarlane said: “Reflecting on the first half of the season it’s hard not to feel a lot of disappointment, we certainly aren’t in a position that we expected to be at this stage of the season.

“Ultimately Willie Kirk’s ambition was his own downfall. He’d asked to be backed by the owners so that he could compete with the top sides, and he was certainly backed in abundance. It wasn’t necessarily the defeats on their own, it was the manner of the defeats which was what stood out.”

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MacFarlane went on to outline his hopes for 2022, giving Everton Women fans cause to be optimistic.

“The appointment of Jean-Luc Vasseur, a champions league winning and treble-winning manager with Lyon, has given us fresh hope for optimism, certainly in the long term, but there is still a lot of work to do to get us to the level which the club and the fans want us to be at.

“We have a number of players who are still adapting to the league and no doubt Jean-Luc will want to bring in his own players so that he can get us playing the way he wants us to.

“It’s been great to see Toni Duggan get off the mark and I think she will be crucial going into the second half of the season, with her big game experience, along with Simone Magill who maybe started the season thinking that her place was under threat but she has shown time and time again exactly why Evertonians adore her with her work rate, combative style and top class finishing.

He also commended Everton Women’s teenage talent, adding: “Hanna (Bennison) has shown glimpses of what a top class talent she is, and I can’t wait to see her development over the next few years.

“With her and Grace Clinton the future certainly looks bright, it’s up to us now to show these players that their bright future should be spent playing in the Royal Blue of Everton.”

A fresh start

With the experience of players such as Toni Duggan, Simone Magill and Izzy Christiansen, not to mention club captain Danielle Turner, you would certainly expect Jean-Luc Vasseur’s Everton Women to push on in 2022.

As MacFarlane opined, the inclusion of youngsters such as Grace Clinton and Hanna Bennison can only be a plus for the team as well.

Franck Plaine, Vasseur’s compatriot and Everton Women’s new performance manager, spoke earlier this month to Goodison News regarding a need for new international players. This could certainly be an option for the club.

Ada Hegerberg would be the unreachable signing but Vasseur could look to his former Lyon side to strengthen his current team. The top goalscorers at Everton are Duggan, Magill and Anvegård who have each only netted twice.

A resurgence is certainly on the cards for Everton Women in the New Year with a great balance of youth and experienced heads amongst the roster.

In other Everton Women news, our expert spoke on Toni Duggan and the club’s final win of 2021.