Liverpool Ladies manager Matt Beard to leave at end of season
Photo source: The FA

Liverpool Ladies manager Matt Beard will leave the club at the end of the season, it has been announced.

Beard will depart after three years on Merseyside, during which he led the Reds to back-to-back WSL 1 titles. The manager will take over American NWSL side Boston Breakers, who will hope for him to carry out a similarly successful revolution across the pond.

Beard departs after tremendous success

When Beard took over at Liverpool, the team had finished bottom of the table in the 2012 season, and the club had identified the former-Chelsea man as someone who could turn things around.

That he did, with some tremendous transfer business helping him do so. The likes of Fara Williams, Natasha Dowie and captain Gemma Bonner were all recruited by the 37-year-old, as well as Lucy Bronze, who left ahead of the new season to join Manchester City.

He transformed the struggling side into a title-winning one, as they defied all the odds to shock the league and claim top spot in 2013 - ending Arsenal's almost two year-long unbeaten run in the same season as they thrashed them 4-0.

The following season, Liverpool retained their crown in the most dramatic of circumstances, with the top two, Chelsea and Birmingham City, dropping points on the final day, allowing the third-placed Reds to finish top on goal difference.

Beard also led the team in their first ever Champions League campaign last year, with them eliminated by Sweden's Linkoping in the round of 32.

Leaving was "a really tough decision"

Speaking about his decision to leave the club, Beard admitted it was "a really tough decision to make" and one that he has "thought a great deal about."

However, he believes that is is time for "a new challenge" after he has taken Liverpool "as far as [he] can."

Continuing, the manager thanked "all of the players and staff" he has worked with at the club, adding that he has enjoyed "some fantastic times" on Merseyside and made "memories that will last forever."

Furthermore, he called the fans of the club "the best supporters in the FA Women's Super League," thanking them for the "fantastic...backing that [the team] have received both home and away" during his years in charge.

Ian Ayre, Liverpool's chief executive, also spoke about Beard's departure, saying that he has helped the Ladies write "an incredible story" with successive league titles and European qualification.

Ayre said that Beard has been "at the very heart of that success" and thanked him, on behalf of the club, "for his contributions," before "wish[ing] him well in his new challenge."

Breakers hope for success under Beard

Beard's new club, Boston Breakers, have just completed their season, finishing bottom of the NWSL, which does not yet have relegation, fortunately for them.

They were 15 points off of fourth-placed Washington Spirit, who finished in the final end-of-season Championship spot, and seven points behind second-from-bottom club Sky Blue.

They won just four of their 20 games this season, and will be hoping for improvements under Beard having shown few in the last 12 months, finishing eighth in the league of nine teams last year.

However, the manager is up to the task, saying he is "extremely excited" about "the prospect of challenging [himself] abroad" and "cannot wait to get started" in a league "as competitive" as the NWSL.

As for Liverpool, Ayre revealed that the club will begin their search for a new manager "immediately, to build on the progress made to date."

Beard will remain in charge for the team's final two league games of the season, which are against league-leaders Chelsea and bottom side Bristol Academy.

The Reds are also into semi-finals of the FA WSL Continental Cup, and it is expected that the manager will stay to oversee the remaining fixtures in that competition, and, most likely, for the two legged round of 32 tie against Brescia in Europe at the beginning of October.