Everton LFC may have not won the English title in nearly a decade but their international-heavy team are making their UEFA Women's Cup debut.
With the second qualifying round of the UEFA Women's Cup starting next month, uefa.com is taking a detailed look at each of the 16 clubs looking to progress to the quarter-finals and beyond. Today, Everton LFC, who are making their European debut this season as English runners-up behind holders Arsenal LFC.
Everton FC have a proud history dating back to 1878 but their female section began life as Hoylake WFC in 1983. They merged with Dolphins YC to become Leasowe, adding Pacific to their title in a sponsorship deal. In 1987/88 they came to prominence, winning the North-West League and reaching the FA Women's Cup final, losing to Doncaster Belles LFC 3-2. By 1991/92 they had won their regional league five years running, and when a regular national competition started the next season they were admitted to division one north and promptly finished top to join the FA Women's Premier League.
Renamed Everton LFC in 1995, they reached the League Cup final in 1997 and the next season were English champions for the first - and so far only - time. The did reach the 1999 League Cup final, losing to Arsenal LFC, the club that are the main reason why Everton are still waiting for another league crown. However, in 2005 they reached their first FA Cup final as Everton, losing 1-0 to Charlton Athletic LFC at Upton Park. Still, revenge of sorts came two years later when Everton pipped Charlton to second place in the Premier League, which as champions Arsenal had already won the UEFA Women's Cup meant a European debut for the Toffees in 2007/08.
They swiftly moved through the first qualifying round in Lithuania, beating hosts Gintra Universitetas 4-0, Glentoran Belfast United 11-0 and Swiss champions FFC Zuchwil 05 5-0 to set up meetings with 1. FFC Frankfurt, FCL Rapide Wezemaal and Valur Reykjavík. And they are in good shape to compete, as they boasted five of England's FIFA Women's World Cup squad - goalkeeper Rachel Brown, defenders Rachel Unitt and Lindsay Johnson, midfielder Fara Williams and striker Jody Handley - and are managed by Mo Marley, who coached her nation to the 2007 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship final. Their parent club also have a dedicated community scheme and a large number of age group teams.