Season preview

Season preview 1912-13: Liverpool F.C. (Athletic News)


August 26, 1912
Having escaped the clutches of the Second Division by the merest margin last April, it is only natural to suppose that the Liverpool team will enjoy a most successful season. A see-saw policy has been characteristic of the Anfielders for many winters, and they may, with truth, be designated as an extremist eleven. This may appear an interesting position to occupy, but the officials of the club will probably have other ideas on the subject. Their critical state last season led to the club making deals with their Everton rivals, and they secured the transfer of William Lacey and Tom Gracie for that of Harold Uren.

Liverpool do not appear too well equipped in the matter of goalkeepers, and should Kenneth Campbell be incapacitated, a most serious situation would immediately arise. In the reserve team is the local custodian, Peter Malone, but a great risk is being run in relying upon one first-class performer. There are rumours of negotiations with another capable keeper, but at present nothing definite has transpired in this direction.

At full back Ephraim Longworth and Robert Pursell are certain to start the season, and the pair should do well together. Robert Crawford has been retained, and he is a rare emergency man, while three new recruits have been signed to further strengthen the defence. Two of these, Walter Wadsworth and Sam Speakman, are locals, and a third Frank Grayer, comes from South Brighton. The defection of Sam Hardy and Jim Harrop seemed at first sight a serious blow to Liverpool, but with Campbell shaping so splendidly in goal the resultant effects were considerably minimised.

To fill Harrop’s place at centre half-back, Bob Ferguson, of Third Lanark, was acquired, but he has a difficult role to fill. This position in recent years has been in charge of Alex Raisbeck and Jim Harrop respectively, and it is no easy matter to successfully follow such a pair. Ferguson will have to display exceptional form to maintain the tradition of this department of the team. Otherwise there appears to have been ample provision made for placing a strong eleven on the field, for the forward line has been stimulated by the acquisition of Jack Tosswill (Queens Park Rangers), Arthur Metcalf (Newcastle United), and Alex Thomson (East Stirlingshire). In the practice games the latter has exhibited particularly fine work at centre-forward, and against the probable League defence has shaped splendidly. With James Stewart again inside right, and Arthur Berry, the amateur international, returning to his first League love, there is plenty of material available for the selection of a strong frontal division, and it is possible that the right half-back position may prove the only place where experiments will have to be tried.

Of the players who have migrated, in addition to Hardy and Harrop, who will assist the Villa, there are Tom Chorlton, not yet fixed up, and Tom Rogers, who has signed for Tranmere Rovers. The half-back John McConnell has gone to Aberdeen, and of the forwards the following changes have occurred: – Sam Bowyer (Bristol City), Harold Uren (Everton), John Macdonald (Newcastle United), and Joe Brough (Bristol City), while William Stuart and Stanley Rowlands have joined the Wrexham club. The players engaged for the season include the following: –

Player Birthplace Position Height Weight
Kenneth Campbell Glasgow Goal 5 10 1/2 11 8
Peter Malone Bootle Goal 5 9 10 6
Robert Crawford Glasgow Full back 5 8 10 13 1/2
Ephraim Longworth Bolton Full back 5 8 11 1 1/2
Frank Grayer South Brighton Full back 6 0 12 8
Sam Speakman Huyton Full back 5 8 1/2 11 2
Walter Wadsworth Bootle Full back 5 10 1/2 10 11
Robert Pursell Campbelltown Full back 5 10 1/2 12 2
Donald Mackinlay Boughall Half back 5 8 11 11 1/2
Bob Ferguson Cleland, N.B. Half back 5 10 11 8
James Scott Stevenson Half back 5 9 3/4 11 8 1/2
Harry Lowe Worksop Half back 5 9 3/4 12 13
Ernest Peake Aberystwyth Half back 5 7 1/2 10 7
Ralph Holden Blundellsands Half back 5 7 10 7
Robert Robinson Sunderland Half back 5 9 1/2 13 0
Arthur Goddard Stockport Forward 5 9 3/4 12 3
James Stewart Dumbarton Forward 5 6 1/2 11 7 1/2
Jack Parkinson Bootle Forward 5 8 10 12
Jack Tosswill Eastbourne Forward 5 11 12 6 1/2
Alex Thomson Stirling Forward 5 7 10 3
Arthur Metcalf Sunderland Forward 5 6 3/4 11 0
Sam Gilligan Dundee Forward 5 9 1/2 11 12 3/4
William Lacey Wexford Forward 5 9 11 8
Tom Gracie Glasgow Forward 5 8 1/2 12 1
Tom Miller Motherwell Forward 5 8 1/2 11 5
James Speakman Huyton Forward 5 8 11 4 1/2
John Bovill Rutherglen Forward 5 7 11 2 1/2

(Source: Athletic News: August 26, 1912)

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