Sport

Matt Beard returns as Liverpool Women manager after leaving Bristol City

Liverpool Women have announced Matt Beard has returned to the club as manager. The 43-year-old was in charge from 2012 to 2015 and guided the team to back-to-back Women’s Super League titles in 2013 and 2014.

He subsequently had spells with Boston Breakers in the United States and West Ham, before taking charge at Bristol City in January until the end of the season, with Tanya Oxtoby going on maternity leave.

Liverpool, who have had Amber Whiteley in interim charge since parting company with Vicky Jepson in January, finished third in the Women’s Championship.

Beard told the club’s website: “I’m delighted to be back at Liverpool Women. When the opportunity arose it was something I wanted to do. I’ve always followed the club since I left; it’s close to my heart. When you’re here and then you’re away from the football club you realise how special and unique it is.

“I’ve never been in a city or worked for a football club where the football is the be all and end all to the supporters. I just can’t wait to get started. It’s a fascinating football club, it’s a fascinating city. Myself and my family loved our time here and we’re really looking forward to coming back.”

Bristol City were bottom of the WSL with two points from 10 games when Beard arrived in January and were relegated to the Championship last weekend having taken 10 from their remaining 12. His tenure also included a 1-0 semi-final victory over Leicester and a 6-0 final defeat to Chelsea in the Continental League Cup.

Beard said of his task at Liverpool: “I’ve come here to get the team promoted. It’s not going to be easy and it’s probably going to be the toughest Championship season ever. But we have a good core group here and the infrastructure is there.”

Liverpool’s announcement came shortly after Bristol City had confirmed Beard’s spell as their interim manager had ended. City’s England forward Ebony Salmon has joined Racing Louisville in the US on a two-year deal.