Andy Spence is a man on a mission later this month, hell-bent on earning Merseyside bragging rights after Everton were drawn against Liverpool in a mouth-watering SSE Women’s FA Cup fifth round tie.
The North West heavyweights have faced off several times in cup competitions in recent years, with Everton overpowering the Reds in their last FA Cup meeting in 2014 on route to the final.
And Everton manager Spence is convinced his players will leave nothing in the tank as they look to find a way past their Merseyside rivals once more on Sunday 19th March.
“We’ve faced Liverpool a few times in the cup over the last few years, and we’ve always competed really well,” said Spence.
“In 2014, we won 2-0, and last year we played them in the Continental Cup, although we got beat 1-0, we performed really well.
“It’s a game we’re looking forward to, it’s a derby game and the players will always look forward to an Everton-Liverpool game.
“We’re hoping to get a big crowd down there and some good support behind us.
“Liverpool is a great team, but we’ll just go with confidence of knowing we’ve done well in the cup so far and we’ve got some good games under our belt, and we’ll really look forward to it.”
In their fourth round clash against Durham on 19th February, Everton won on penalties, with defender Danielle Turner donning the gloves after Kirstie Levell was taken off injured at half-time.
Goals from Michelle Hinnigan and Megan Finnigan forced the tie to extra time and spot-kicks, after Rebecca Salicki and Beth Hepple gave Durham the advantage.
Turner, who kept a clean sheet for the rest of the game and throughout extra time, was part of the Everton side that were beaten in the final three years ago by Arsenal.
And this year’s SSE Women’s FA Cup player of the round for round four is relishing the tie against their local rivals, and added she had a funny feeling after the Toffees' cup heroics that a clash against the Reds was on the cards.
“It was inevitable,” the 25-year-old said. “After the Durham game, we were discussing who it would be and I said Liverpool straight away.
“It seems to happen every single year that we draw them in a cup somewhere along the line.
“There’s no bigger motivation than a local derby, it is always one of my favourite games.
“No disrespect to Brighouse Town [who Everton beat in the third round] and Durham, but it’s a step up again, and they are the games we relish and we’re excited for.
“When I got to the final three years ago, it was great for the club. Winning breeds confidence and we just want to go as far as we can.
“It was one of the best feelings of my career so far, even though we didn’t win the game in the end. And now the final is at Wembley, it’s even more of a prize.”
Tickets are now on sale for the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final on Saturday 13th May at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. For the second consecutive year, kids go free to the final, tickets can be purchased here: https://ticketing.thefa.com/