Spartans Women ready to begin cup run against Falkirk

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SPARTANS manager Debbi McCulloch insists her side are setting their sights on a trophy-laden campaign and warned the club’s rivals that the Ainslie Park girls are ready for a fight.

They begin their quest for silverware tomorrow when they take on Falkirk at Spartans Academy (kick-off 1.00pm) in the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup – a competition in which they have endured a lot of heartache.

Spartans were beaten finalists in each of the last three League Cup competitions and four times in the last five years.

Yet, boss McCulloch believes her new-look side are ready to go the distance in all competitions this term, saying: “Our aim is try and win everything we enter this year, including the league, and we have strengthened in vital areas to give ourselves the best possible chance of doing that. We are under no illusions that others have also strengthened and it’s going to be an extremely tough challenge but if we get a good start and gain some momentum then I think we have every chance to succeed.”

Before they can get close to getting their hands on silverware, Spartans will have to take care of business tomorrow by defeating fellow SWPL side Falkirk and McCulloch believes it will be a physical encounter. She said: “Falkirk will be an extremely tough opponent to beat as they’ve had a long pre-season to prepare and will be physical and well organised. We’ve deliberately played some hard friendlies over the last few weeks to test ourselves and iron out any areas we feel are not quite working.”

Spartans have strengthened during the close season and McCulloch pin-pointed the addition of ex-Hibs duo Kirsty McLaughlin and Rebecca Zoltie as crucial to the club’s plans.

She commented: “Kirsty was outstanding for Hibs last year and we hope she can perform for us in a similar fashion. Likewise we are delighted to have signed Rebecca as her passing and link-up play is second to none.

“The additions we have made to our squad have given us an edge that we felt was perhaps missing last year and whilst also adding a depth of quality.”

Hibs Ladies and Hutchison Vale are not in action until the league campaign gets underway in two weeks’ time after 
receiving a bye in the first round of this competition.