Spartans ladies set to take aim at silverware

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Spartans coach Debbi McCulloch believes it’s time for her side to prove their status as one of Scotland’s top teams by finally getting their hands on silverware.

The Ainslie Park club finished last term as runners-up in the Scottish Women’s Premier League and the SWPL Cup and are aiming to go one better this year.

“Our main aim is to improve on what we achieved last season,” admitted McCulloch ahead of tomorrow’s opening league fixture against Falkirk at Spartans Academy (kick-off 1.00pm).

“We hope to compete for the league title and are focused on having a strong cup campaign.

“Hopefully, we can win a cup this season because we have reached the League Cup final two years in a row without winning – something that has been extremely frustrating for everyone involved.

“We have had a very successful and productive pre-season.

“Chloe Fitzpatrick has re-joined the club from Aberdeen, Ann Taylor has signed from Hutchison Vale and Nichola Sturrock has moved up from our reserve team to part of the first team squad.

“The players have worked extremely hard and are looking forward to the start of the new season tomorrow.”

City rivals Hibernian Ladies are also looking to start the season with three points by defeating Inverness City at Albyn Park, Broxburn (kick-off 2.00pm)

However, injuries to key players threaten to disrupt their plans as Hibs look to bounce back after last weekend’s cup defeat by Celtic.

Manager Willie Kirk commented: “The mood in the camp was quite low after the Celtic result but picked up towards the end of the week.

“The message this week has been that we have to learn and we have to learn quickly. Under no circumstances can we start the league campaign slowly.

“We are without Stef Malcolm and Siobhan Hunter whilst Shannon Lynn is a doubt.

“Inverness are always well organised and hard working, but as long as we match their effort I fully expect us to take the three points.”

Meanwhile, Hutchison Vale will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s surprise cup defeat against Aberdeen by taking full points from their opening league fixture.

Ian MacDonald’s side travel to Ayrshire to face last term’s basement club Kilmarnock at Blair Park, Hurlford (2.00pm).