Spartans confident Rangers and Celtic duo can make impact

Debbi McCulloch insists that Spartans is the place to be as a youngster after signing Rangers and Celtic duo on loan.
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Summer Laird and Rachael Johnstone arrived at the club last week on loan until the end of the season. Extra bodies were needed in the team and the duo can help to add more young blood into Spartans’ depth. Laird comes into the club at just 17 years of age from Rangers while Johnstone is two years older at 19. With the pair just starting out on their SWPL journeys, McCulloch has no doubt that they can both make a significant contribution to the club this season.

“We brought in Summer [Laird] because we lost Julianne [Ross] to a team in Denmark so we wanted to make sure we had sufficient cover there,” she told the Edinburgh Evening News. “Rachel Harrison has decided to take a short time away from football and having one goalkeeper at this level isn’t an option. We knew Racheal [Johnstone] was available and we were presented with that opportunity before preseason where we had two goalkeepers. More importantly, it is about giving them the opportunity to play at the highest level.”

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“Johnstone has had two significant injuries in her wrists and has struggled to get game time at Celtic. She is a fantastic goalkeeper, an excellent prospect and really fits into our culture and values on and off the pitch, as does Laird. Both have an extremely bright future ahead of them. I am all about giving young players opportunities and both can have a contribution to our club and we will see where that takes their footballing careers.”

Spartans face Glasgow City on Sunday. Credit: Spartans WomenSpartans face Glasgow City on Sunday. Credit: Spartans Women
Spartans face Glasgow City on Sunday. Credit: Spartans Women

McCulloch has had a great track record of developing young players into stars throughout her managerial career. Robyn McCafferty and Alicia Yates are just two players who have become vital to Spartans’ success despite being just 20 years old. Youngsters Mya Bates and Hannah Jordan have also progressively seen more first-team action since signing in 2022 with the latter scoring a winner past Partick Thistle last month. However, only time will tell if Laird and Johnstone can find similar success this season.

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