Season preview 1904-05: Liverpool (Liverpool F.C. Match Programme)

September 1, 1904
The longings of Liverpool are known to us all. They are to get back into the first division as quickly as possible. For the third time Liverpool have to fight their way upwards, and what they accomplished aforetime, they ought to have no difficulty in doing again. Of the players engaged, Dunlop alone shewed in the last fight, and his form in the practice matches show that he is still fit to take his place in the ranks of the gallant reds. The earnestness of purpose of Billy Dunlop is an object lesson to the other players, and by copying it they are assuring themselves of many a point they would otherwise fail to obtain.

The fall of the Livers is now an old story. Through the defection of certain players they were a different team to the one that won the Championship, and right throughout the season they were under a cloud. They never seemed to get going, and while other teams in jeopardy roused themselves for a supreme effort it seemed impossible for Liverpool to do so. But the past is past, and the future must be considered. What are Liverpool’s chances of being again first Leaguers? Well I believe that they have a team able to win the first League Championship, let alone the second. Just look at these names: Ned Doig, Billy Dunlop, David Murray, Maurice Parry, Alex Raisbeck, James Hughes, Arthur Goddard, Robert Robinson, Sam Raybould, Joe Hewitt, and Jack Cox, to say nothing of Peter Platt, George Fleming, Tom Chorlton, Jack Parkinson, John Carlin, James Garside, Charles Evans, Charlie Wilson, Herbert Pratt, and others.

How these men will play remains to be seen, but on paper an eleven can be selected equal to any that has ever represented the Club. I have left Alf West out of the calculation, as he will not be ready yet, and I do not suppose that he will be played until thoroughly fit. Doig is as sure handed as ever, and should be a tower of strength to the clubs. His presence will give confidence to those in front of him. One or two shots he saved in the practice matches were handled wonderfully, and his clearances are most judicious. Murray is open to improvements, but he is playing on his wrong side and is only feeling his way. Dunlop is alright again, and I hope will keep clear of the ill-fortune which dogged him last season. The half backs have taken things fairly coolly in the practice games, but they showed the old resource in many ways. Of the reserves, Chorlton, the Accrington Stanley player has all the marking of a class man. He is well built, clean-limbed youth, 5ft. 8in. in height and weighs 11st. 2lbs. Fleming will be a capital standby for any of the half back positions.

Forward there is ample material to choose a quintette able to set up a record number of goals. Raybould has not been seen yet, but if he is not up to the required standard Carlin and Parkinson are quite fit to take the cenre forward position. In the practice match of last Friday, after an indifferent opening he played brilliantly, and it was his work in the last half hour which gave the League team so great a victory.

A player who pleased everybody was Evans, the Artillery footballer from Seaforth. The soldier is fast, and centres beautifully. If he goes in for football seriously he will make a name. He quite caught the eye among the reserve forwards. Altogether the prospects of the club are excellent. There is a capital understanding among the players, all of whom are confident of their ability to place the club in its old position. That other clubs intend to make hard fight is well known, and several clubs has been strengthening their ranks, but I feel certain that among the whole eighteen constituting the second division of the League there is not one club which possesses men of equal caliber to Liverpool, and I look forward with some confidence to them attaining what is at present the height of their ambition.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: September 1, 1904)

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