Hibs Ladies skipper Joelle Murray fit again thanks to lockdown recovery

Joelle Murray is fully fit and raring to go when Scottish Women’s Premier League One restarts next month – after benefitting from the latest lockdown.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Hibs captain Joelle Murray has recovered from injury and is looking forward to a busy schedule of fixtures starting early next month. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

The Hibs Ladies captain would have missed at least two games through injury had fixtures restarted as originally scheduled in February following the winter break.

However, the latest coronavirus shutdown has enabled to 34-year-old Scotland international to fully recover and she is now looking for forward to her first competitive match of the year in a couple of weeks.

“Everyone is in high spirits,” said Murray. “For me in particular, the lockdown was quite beneficial because I was injured towards the end of the first round of fixtures, so I missed three out of the first seven games.

Sign up to our Hibs football newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I would have missed the first two games back after the winter break at least, so it has given me the extra time to recover.

“It was the same for a few teammates. From that perspective it was helpful, but we are all be delighted to be back training and hopeful we can play the full compliment of fixtures remaining.”

Hibs face Spartans in an intriguing Edinburgh derby at Ainslie Park on April 4, with both teams currently on nine points from seven games and sitting fourth and fifth in the eight-team top flight.

It is the start of a gruelling schedule of matches, with 14 league fixtures to play before the league is scheduled to finish on June 6.

Murray added: “At my age, playing Sunday and Wednesday for a weeks will be hard. My body won’t appreciate that, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

BBC Alba, meanwhile, has announced that it will broadcast Hibs’ match away to Celtic on April 25 and the Edinburgh derby against Hearts on May 2.

It will also screen an additional five SWPL One fixtures when the season restarts. After four matches last year and with further broadcasts to come, it marks a record number of live matches for Scottish women’s football.

Scottish Women’s Football chairperson Vivienne MacLaren said: “This is, without question, the most competitive SWPL season ever and it’s fantastic to have a broadcast partner committed to helping us grow the game.”

BBC Alba’s Iseabail Mactaggart added: “We’re hugely excited about the profile being created for SWPL 1.”