Robyn McCafferty is “excited” to begin the next step in her footballing journey, after the 15 year old joined Spartans FC Women from the Hibernian U19’s performance team during the off-season.
Set to be one of the youngest players in Scottish Women’s Football’s top division – the Scottish Building Society SWPL 1 – Robyn, who describes herself as a “ball playing centre half” is set to come head to head with players much older than her this season, but Spartan’s have been given good reason to believe in the youngster.
The captain of Scotland’s Women’s Under 17’s, Robyn is no stranger to a difficult task and Spartans who are managed by Debbi McCulloch were determined to bring the defender to the club.
Spartans had an impressive end to the season after McCulloch was appointed head coach, avoiding relegation by four points and earning themselves a Semi-Final in the Scottish Women’s Cup. The signing of McCafferty shows a clear signal of intent from Spartans, not only this season, but for the foreseeable future.
McCafferty said: “I’m buzzing to get the season underway, it’s a definitely a big step, but it’s an exciting challenge and it’s just going to motivate me to work as hard as possible to earn my place.”
She praised the work of the coaching staff and her teammates to help her prepare for the requirements of playing in SWPL 1.
McCaffery was also full of praise for former club Hibs when she departed in December, tweeting that she “can’t thank everyone at (Hibs) enough for everything they have done for me.” Saying it had been an honour to play for the club.
She was named coaches player of the season in her final year with the Edinburgh club, but it’s now time to shift focus to her new team.
“For me personally this season my aim is to just improve as much as possible and try and do my best in the league”, she said. “My aim is just to settle in and do my bit for the team.”
McCafferty, who likely may have been involved with the Hibernian U23’s side this season had she not moved has taken a brave step to make the switch, with a clear desire to play senior football.
We asked what factored into her choice of joining Spartans, saying: “The ambition this club has is something among many things that attracted me and brought me here, with a mixture of youth and experience at Spartans it makes for a really promising side, hungry for success.”
The opening day of the season could make for a highly interesting affair for her as Spartans host her former team Hibernian, last season’s runner up. With the game taking place on February 10th.
“It’s definitely going to feel a little weird as it’s the first time coming up against them” she said. “No matter who we play we need to give 100% and play the way we know we can. We have trained hard and we are buzzing to get the season underway.”
Playing at such a level with much older opposition and team-mates could be quite daunting for a teenager, and while nerves are a reality, McCafferty insists they will not be a distraction:
“I am quite nervous about playing at such a high level but I have an amazing group of team-mates around me and an unbelievable team of coaching staff. I am really looking forward to and am excited for my first season in the SWPL with an amazing team.”
The centre-back is certainly a talent for the future, but we might not have to wait long to see her becoming a success story in Scottish Women’s Football.