Liverpool Ladies: Matt Beard leaves club in 'a much better place'

By Jo CurrieBBC Sport
Matt Beard
Matt Beard signed players such at England duo Lucy Bronze and Gemma Davison during his time at Liverpool

Liverpool Ladies striker Natasha Dowie says outgoing manager Matt Beard has left the club "in a much better place" than when he joined three years ago.

A 1-0 second leg defeat by Brescia in the last 32 of the Champions League on Wednesday night was Beard's last match in charge before his move to Boston Breakers in the United States.

"It's hard to see Beardy leave," England international Dowie admitted.

"He's been here since day one and really changed the club around."

She continued: "We really wanted to try and finish with a win for him to see him off, but unfortunately that's the highs and lows of football."

Beard joined Liverpool in 2012 when the club finished bottom of the Women's Super League and led them consecutive league titles in 2013 and 2014.

Natasha Dowie
Dowie first worked with Beard at Charlton Ladies when she was 17 years old

However, this season the club struggled to cope with a large number of injuries and won just four of their 14 league games to finish seventh, one place above relegated Bristol.

"It doesn't feel like it at the minute, but he's left the club in a much better place than it was," said Dowie.

"He's a top bloke, really good at recruiting quality players and we've had some world class players at Liverpool.

"He's done a lot for the club and hopefully our paths will meet again, but he'll do great out in Boston, he's a top, top manager."

Following their exit from Europe, 2-0 on aggregate, 27-year-old Dowie said the season had taken a toll on the players and would be "one to forget".

She added: "This year has made me appreciate the highs a lot more because I don't want to have many more seasons like this.

"For us now it's time to just have a little bit of time out, it's been an emotionally draining season, to be honest."

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