Scottish Women's Premier League

#SBSSWPL 1: Team of the Season (so far)

July 24th 2019

With the Scottish Building Society SWPL season break upon us, we decided to look at some of the stand-out players from both leagues so far. Will these players make the team come the end of 2019? Why not watch them in action from August 4th onwards, with fixtures available by clicking here.

Rachel Harrison, Spartans WFC
Written by Robert Wilson

Perhaps the hardest pick of a team like this is the goalkeeper, with glory often reserved for those scoring the goals. Obvious choices would be Scotland National Team players Lee Alexander (Glasgow City) or Jenna Fife (Hibernian), having conceded just four and seven goals respectively. However, with stronger defences in front of them, these two have been arguably tested much less than their fellow ‘keepers.

With that in mind, we’ve gone for Rachel Harrison of Spartans. She’s started in every single game this season, keeping four clean sheets from 11 games. While having conceded 23 goals, over two a game, this stat is skewed by having conceded 12 goals in two games against Glasgow City and having played the top three twice already. In the other five games against fourth and below, Harrison and her side have conceded just two goals.

In big games, Harrison has also stepped up. In particular, her performances against Hibernian where they have conceded just two goals in their two matches against the side second in the league. Debbi McCulloch has made her side hard to beat and Harrison has played a vital role in that process.

Nicola Docherty, Glasgow City FC
Written by Robert Wilson

As the Scottish Building Society SWPL 1 Player of the Year for 2018 and having just featured at a World Cup, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see her included in the team of the year so far. However, Docherty and her Glasgow City teammates have perhaps gone above and beyond the high standards they achieved last season.

With 10 games played, City have scored 56 goals and conceded just four times. They also have a 100% record which means they sit five points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand.

Having started every single league game, Docherty plays a vital part in the City machine. At full-back, she somehow manages to get involved with every single passage of play either by getting forward in support or helping her team defensively. With the ability to beat a player and/or deliver a wicked cross, she’s an absolute nightmare to defend or attack against. Opponents beware.

Keeva Keenan, Celtic
Written by Chris Marshall

The fact that Keenan’s performances so far this season have matched her own self-definition of her playing style is testament to the impact she has had on a Celtic side currently trying to close the gap between themselves and the traditional big two.

A physical full back who enjoys a battle and bombing forward she has proved to be a constant threat in Celtic’s Champions League push with her long throw a developing weapon in her arsenal.

Siobhan Hunter, Hibernian
Written by Robert Wilson

Having conceded just seven goals in 11 games, it’s only right that at least one of the Hibernian defence is included in the team of the year so far. However, picking that one player was not easy. Given how strong Siobhan Hunter and Joelle Murray are as a pairing, we wished we could combine the two.

Hunter though just edged it given her contribution both defensively and on the scoresheet. She’s scored three goals this season, two of which were penalties, including the winning goal against Spartans. She’s a calm presence on the ball from defence but when backs are against the wall, she is more than willing to put her body on the line for her side.

Her passion for Hibernian is clear, especially in recent big games, and she’ll be hoping to add further silverware to their 2019 SWPL Cup success.

Jenna Clark, Glasgow City
Written by Campbell Finlayson

The 17-year old has been at the heart of a City defence that has conceded just four goals so far this season, making her one of the first names on Scott Booth’s team-sheet.

She has also been useful at the other end, grabbing four goals in league and cup, with her height causing a problem for the opposition in both boxes.

Jade Gallon, Rangers WFC
Written by Chris Marshall

Rangers continue to provide to be an unpredictable proposition this season but when things are going well it will usually be driven by the efforts of midfielder Gallon. The playmaker has five league goals to her name this season including the only goal in an April victory away to Spartans and her performances have seen her rack up a number of player of match nominations throughout the season so far.

If Rangers are to close the gap on the three above then it will be likely that Gallon will have been a key component in closing that down.

Natalie Ross, Celtic
Written by Robert Wilson

There’s no doubt that Celtic have improved in 2019 and are now genuine contenders for at least a top two finish. Part of that comes down to the fact that they’ve become harder to beat, tightening up in defence and midfield, whilst also having goals come from all over the park.

Ross is a perfect example of their improvement. Having played 10 of 11 games in the league, she’s helped her side to concede just 10 goals. At the other end she has scored four goals, coming from her hard work to support the forwards and get in the right space at the right time.

If Celtic do manage to break the deadlock on the top two, it’ll be in large part to the effort of Ross.

Cailin Michie, Hibernian
Written by Campbell Finlayson

Hibs midfielder Michie isn’t one of the bigger names in the team but she is a player who can always be relied on to do the work off the ball, allowing creative players around her to attack for the Edinburgh side.

Two goals in the league, including a stunning strike against Stirling Uni, were added to with the winning penalty in the SWPL Cup final against Glasgow City, with Michie an easy choice for our Team of the Season so far.

Kirsty Howat, Glasgow City
Written by Campbell Finlayson

City are five points clear at the top of Scottish Building Society SWPL 1 and that’s in part down to the goals of Howat. The forward has scored 17 goals in 14 appearances for City this season, including four in just 36 minutes in the 8-0 win over Motherwell.

The league’s top scorer is more than just about goals though; her link up play has allowed the likes of Clare Shine to find the net multiple times too, causing no end of bother for City’s opponents.

Sarah Ewens, Celtic
Written by Andrew Southwick

Arguably, the most improved player at Celtic under Eddie Wolecki Black. A key part of Celtic becoming title challengers, she is now showing exactly what is she is capable of.

Boasting height and pace, Ewens is always likely to be on the end of a cross or long ball, but she has now added a more clinical edge to her game this term.

Jamie-Lee Napier, Hibernian
Written by Andrew Southwick

With Hibs losing so many players since last summer, they needed others to step up. Jamie-Lee Napier has certainly done that, helping spearhead a title challenge and an SWPL Cup win.

Her ferocious spirit makes her a nightmare to defend against, with and without the ball. Despite only being 19, she has been handed the captain’s armband when regular Hibs skipper Joelle Murray has been missing, showing the trust head coach Grant Scott has in her.

These players have been selected by Robert Wilson, Campbell Finlayson, and Chris Marshall who regularly attend #SBSSWPL matches. Disagree with their selections? Join the debate on social media using #SBSSWPL.