Amanda da Costa: Proud to be part of 'Celebration of the 96'; injuries hitting Liverpool Ladies; Sterling's exciting progress

Amanda da Costa admits Liverpool Ladies are battling a long injury list, reflects on the honour of being part of the Celebration of the 96 and talks up the Reds' successful Premier League campaign.
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Amanda da Costa admits Liverpool Ladies are battling a long injury list, reflects on the honour of being part of the Celebration of the 96 and talks up the Reds' successful Premier League campaign.

 

It's been a special few weeks at Liverpool since we last touched base.

On the pitch, Liverpool Ladies have made a solid start to our title defence in the Women's Super League, though we were disappointed to be knocked out of the FA Cup by our neighbours Everton.

After facing some season ending injuries and having some players out of training for various health reasons, it's fair to say that our squad was looking thin for the big match.

Everton were able to capitalize on two big mistakes to take an early two goal lead. We would never recover from the deficit, although a dominating second half performance offered hope for what is to come for us as the season progresses.

After facing many setbacks during preseason with some injuries and changes to the lineup, we have definitely had to overcome a great deal of adversity before the season even started. We are continuing to take everything in our stride and learning from each game we play.

Our first WSL match was against a strong Manchester City side, a brand new club which has made some tremendous signings and a big splash on the women's football scene. It was a tough game for us, complete with an intense atmosphere and live BT Sport broadcast. We battled scoreless for 70 minutes until we finally netted a late winner from last year’s leading goalscorer Natasha Dowie.

Following a quick turnaround between matches, we hit the road and headed to London to face Chelsea. Chelsea, similar to Manchester City, made many additional signings in the off season and will be a team to look out for in this season’s title race. A rainy day and a muddy pitch saw us through to a 0-0 draw, leaving us with four points for the start of the season.

Sunday, our WSL campaign continues with an away game at Notts County Ladies.

Of course, last month was a special occasion for all connected to Liverpool FC with the 'Celebration of the 96' event at Anfield.

Upon joining this club, I quickly learned what it meant to be a family. I learned about how the club is known for playing with passion and excitement, and above all else I learned the true meaning behind the phrase “You'll Never Walk Alone”.

Since I arrived in Liverpool, I have tried to be a sponge and soak up any and all information and history I could regarding this city and it's treasured football club. Probably one of the most vital parts of history I learned about was the Hillsborough Disaster and the tragedy of the 96.

For two years now, I have been honoured to pay my respects to the city and to those who have lost loved ones at the 25th Anniversary tribute at Anfield, while also celebrating the same lives at the Celebration of the 96 alongside some of Liverpool legends.

Being on the pitch with current members of the Liverpool first team and getting the chance to work with the young academy players in front of an Anfield crowd was truly a privilege.

Celebrating the lives of the 96 by supporting the youth of the city was a perfect way to pay tribute, and a match between the local and international legends of LFC who sported the number 96 on the backs of their jerseys, was a great way to close the evening.

Brendan Rodgers' squad can take great heart from this season's Premier League campaign, with so much to look forward to next term.

It has been fun to watch the men progress from the start of the season, most notably a young Raheem Sterling who has exploded on the scene since his debut.

As the season progressed, Sterling clearly proved his confidence and ability netting some big time goals and setting up others. He went from coming in off of the bench to being a consistent starter for the Reds who harassed back lines and caused problems. Clearly learning from his peers, Sterling even switched up his plan of attack as he found great success attacking in centrally rather than solely working up and down the wings.

The changes he has made in his game shows the bright future he has for this club and for the rest of his long career.

This season has been an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the Liverpool Football Club. With the success the men have been having and the integration between the men and women's sides, we have been honoured to feel as though we are a small part of their record breaking English Premier League campaign.

 

Follow Amanda: @ADacosta13.

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