Willie Kirk: Everton Women manager 'cannot wait' for new Walton Hall Park home

By Tom GarryBBC Sport
Willie Kirk
On Sunday Willie Kirk's side host Manchester United, where he was previously assistant manager

Everton boss Willie Kirk says moving into their new home ground at Walton Hall Park will be a "great boost" for the Women's Super League team.

The Scottish coach's side have been playing at Southport's Pure Stadium this season while waiting for the move.

They host Manchester United on Sunday in their first game at Walton Hall Park, just a mile from Goodison Park.

"It's going to be a big step for us, having our own place and being based in the city centre," Kirk told BBC Sport.

"I cannot wait. I've been talking about it all season and it's finally there now.

"It's going to be a great boost for the girls, to have a place we can call home."

The stadium's capacity for Sunday has been capped at a reduced 1,500, while work continues so that Everton can increase the capacity.

As of Wednesday evening, the seated area of the ground was sold out for Sunday's fixture, while some tickets for standing areas were still available.

Everton are sixth in the table, one point and one place below United, and both teams have a game in hand on fourth-placed Reading, who have one point more than the Red Devils.

Everton celebrate at Ashton Gate
Everton were 5-0 winners over Willie Kirk's former side Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Monday

Kirk also welcomed their draw for March's Women's FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea, after their thumping win over Bristol City.

"I'm quite happy with that. If you're going to win silverware and get to Wembley you've got to beat big teams at some point," the 41-year-old added.

"From my experience, I've always found it easier to beat the so-called favourites in earlier rounds than the final, especially in my time in Scotland [with Hibernian].

"I beat Glasgow City a couple of times in semi-finals but never in a final. Big teams and big clubs very rarely slip up in finals so if you're going to win it you're probably going to need to beat them on the way there.

"It gives us back-to-back games against Chelsea. It's incredible how often football throws that up. The players were buzzing for it."

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