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'Nothing but good things to say' - praise for Liverpool's Irish trio after title success

Lovely words for Niamh Fahey, Leanne Kiernan and Megan Campbell in Matt Beard’s guide to his squad.

LIVERPOOL MANAGER MATT Beard has heaped praise on the three Republic of Ireland internationals at the Reds in a comprehensive guide to his title-winning squad.

Beard’s side secured the 2022 FA Women’s Championship title after a 4-2 win over Bristol City on Sunday, securing promotion back to the top-flight with two games to spare.

Screenshot 2022-04-07 15.24.47 The Liverpool squad celebrating on Sunday. Source: Liverpool FC.

Niamh Fahey, Leanne Kiernan and Megan Campbell have all played key parts in the success, which arrives after a 19-game unbeaten run stretching back to the opening-day defeat to London City Lionesses.

Captain Fahey has been instrumental all season, and the Ireland centurion set the tone at Ashton Gate on Sunday as she scored the opener and was named Player of the Match. Kiernan has been the team’s leading goal-scorer and sits second overall in the Championship standings with 12, while Campbell has enjoyed a stunning return from injury in recent months and was today named Championship Player of the Week.

Beard shared a fascinating insight into his squad on Liverpoolfc.com with kind words for each and every one of his players, and here’s what he wrote about the Irish trio:

Niamh Fahey

Our captain. I’ve loved working with Niamh. What a player, what a person. She is an unbelievable leader and has a great personality. She has led the team unbelievably well and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Niamh. She has popped up with some important goals, important blocks. She is unbelievable. I am so, so proud of her. She also had a great achievement with the national team as well [she earned her 100th senior international cap at the Pinatar Cup]. What a year it has been for Niamh.

Leanne Kiernan

Our top scorer. What can I say about Leanne, hey? Another unbelievable character. She would run through a brick wall and do anything for the team. I think her game has gone to a new level this season. She has played a lot of games, she has got back into the national team, she has scored goals – which I knew she could do anyway. They are all good people, these players, but Leanne has added a different dimension to the team with her pace, her directness and as a great finisher. She has had a really good season.

Megan Campbell

People will always go to the throw-in when they talk about Meg, always. Yes, it is dangerous, but let me tell you Megan Campbell is a very talented football player. She has a great left foot, as we have seen in our last couple of games with her deliveries from set-plays as well. I was devastated for her when she got that injury in pre-season, which put her out for six months, especially after what she had been through at Manchester City. I just think it shows her strength of character, coming back from that and having the impact she has had, especially in the last month of the season. I’m really pleased for her because she has had a tough couple of years. Our medical team has done a fantastic job with Meg and there is much more to come from her, which is the exciting thing.

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Fahey and Kiernan are currently on international duty as Vera Pauw’s Girls In Green prepare for next Tuesday’s massive World Cup qualifier against Sweden in Gothenburg.

Campbell was included in the original squad, but an FAI statement on the day they reconvened in Dublin revealed that the Drogheda native “has remained at her club to receive treatment for a knock and will be assessed over the coming days.”

Colm Smith is another Irish face in the Liverpool set-up, the Cavan man employed as a strength and conditioning coach. Smith and fellow Breffni native Kiernan previously worked with Beard at West Ham United, and reunited with the manager for his second spell on Merseyside last summer.

Campbell also joined the club ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, while life-long Reds fan Fahey signed in 2018 when Liverpool were a Women’s Super League outfit.

They now return to the top-flight after suffering relegation in the Covid-shortened 2019/20 season. Fahey and co. will lift the trophy after Liverpool’s final home league game against Sheffield United on 24 April.

BTL 5

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