Spartans boss Debbi aims to sign off with a win

Spartans Women's FC Manager Debbi McCulloch

Spartans Women's FC Manager Debbi McCulloch

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Spartans Manager Debbi McCulloch believes she will leave the club in a stronger position than she inherited in 2010.

The former Dundee United and Ross County Community Coach will step down from her role with the Ainslie Park outfit after taking charge of her side for one final time tomorrow afternoon against city rivals, Hibernian.

In her five years in charge of the team, McCulloch has led Spartans into five cup finals and in 2011 they were runners-up in the Scottish Women’s Premier League, however silverware has eluded her grasp.

Tomorrow’s contest at Albyn Park, Broxburn, brings down the curtain on her time in charge and she insists the future is bright for Spartans.

McCulloch said: “The match against Hibs is a good opportunity for us to finish on a high and lay down a marker for next season.

“There is a strong foundation in our squad and that will allow Suzy [Shepherd] to build for the future with optimism.

“In so many games this season we’ve been the better team but have lost goals because of our mistakes, which has been frustrating, however we can work on that and it gives us a platform to build on.

“I’m really proud of the girls and how far we have come as a club. It can be hard to hold onto your best players when the club has been a successful, yet I would hope that all of my players over the years will feel they improved and enjoyed their football playing for Spartans.”

Hibs go into tomorrow’s contest (kick-off 2pm) aiming to maintain their 100 per cent record over their city rivals this season.

Boss Chris Roberts, however, admits there is still time for his fringe players to stake a claim for place in next weekend’s team to face Glasgow City for the Scottish Cup final.

He said: “As a squad we’ve tried to be competitive all season and it is important to keep everyone fresh, so we don’t want anyone picking up knocks now.

“Of course there are places in the side up for grabs, but there will be a part for everyone to play next week whether they are in the starting XI or a substitute.

“Next week will take care of itself and just now we are completely focussed on Spartans and trying to finish the league campaign on a high.”

Elsewhere, relegated duo Hutchison Vale and Hearts Ladies clash at Saughton Enclosure (kick-off 2pm).