Liverpool’s talismanic vice captain has returned from a broken leg, and is changing to a new kit number this season
Rachel Furness has only been with the Liverpool FC Women’s side for a season and a half, but the fiery Northern Irishwoman has become a talisman for the team. She is an all action midfielder that seems to at time will the ball into the back of the net. Despite spending time in a deeper role last season due to a slew of injuries, and missing some significant time herself, Furness led the team with 7 goals in all competitions.
Unfortunately for Furness and Liverpool, she sustained a fractured lower fibula while on international duty in April. It was believed she could be back for the start of preseason, but unfortunately Furness has a setback in her return for injury. After watching her teammates train this past month, Rachel is now finally back in training, and she is very excited about it.
“It was really good to be back in around the girls,” Furness said in an interview with Liverpoolfc.com. “Watching training for the past month has been good but it just felt great to be back involved. The ankle, touch wood, feels fantastic and now it’s just about building up that sharpness and fitness. Being back in training, that’ll come with time.”
While she couldn’t train, Furness has been putting in the work off the field with Liverpool’s medical staff to get herself healthy.
“It’s been tough, I’ve been working all summer with the medical team to get myself back in a good place. They’ve been fantastic and I’ve ticked off all the boxes I need to and now it’s a matter of building up the sessions and getting some game time.”
With Liverpool’s first game not until the end of August, it should give Furness time to get some game time in during the upcoming friendlies. While she has proved herself over the past season and a half with Liverpool, she has a new manager to impress, and some new faces to compete with for playing time.
“The aim is to get some pre-season minutes, compete for a place and show the best version of myself,” said Furness.
“I really want to show Matt [Beard] I want to be in the team. I’m not sure when my first minutes will be but it’s not too far off and I’m really excited.”
As usual with the Women’s teams, there has been a decent amount of turnover in the squad due to the propensity to have lots of one year contracts. Liverpool have six new faces to integrate into the team. While Furness has only just begun to train, she has been at the training sessions to be with her teammates and get to know the new women on the team.
“The buzz we all have, we all get on, we all have a laugh but when it comes to the training pitch it’s serious and we’re trying to implement what Matt wants going into the season,” described the Northern Irishwoman.
“All the new girls have been fantastic. The intensity has upped a level, Matt’s demanding that and the girls are thriving off it. I think we’ve got a really strong group.”
The other big news with Furness is that she will be switching her squad number. After Rinsola Babajide was announced to have left on loan to Brighton, the number 10 kit was suddenly available. For Furney, it was an opportunity to play in a kit she is used to wearing.
“I’ve worn No.10 for Northern Ireland for as long as I can remember, so when that number came up I just thought it was a no-brainer,” said Rachel of changing to the new kit number.
“I know what it means to wear that shirt so I hope I can do the shirt and the number justice and wear it with pride.”