Ahead of the new 2019 season, we’ll catch-up with every single Scottish Building Society SWPL team. From new Head Coaches, new signings, and new aspirations, it’s set to be another exciting campaign. We spoke to new Glasgow Girls Head Coach, John Doyle.
How are excited are you for the 2019 season?: Obviously being new to the woman’s game having come from Junior football, I am very excited about this coming season and getting to know the level and how Jamie and I adapt to the change.
What are your aims and ambitions for the new season?: As we are new to the level, and with Glasgow Girls finishing above relegation last season, we are just hoping to set our own bar and improve on last season’s points tally.
Based on the other teams in the league, do you think this will be the most competitive season ever?: Having had a look at last season’s scores and league table, with the exception of Motherwell and Central Girls, the league was competitive. Going by the clubs who are participating this season, I would imagine the league will be stronger.
With the new season around a month away, how have preparations been so far?: With the League campaign starting early, hasn’t done me any favours. Obviously there’s less time for me and my staff to get to know the players and implement how we want to play, as well as ensuring we are fully fit, so pre-season will be a challenge to ensure we are ready.
Do you have plans to/have you had much change to the squad? What impact could this have on your season?: We have lost a couple from last season, especially in our front line but thankfully we have managed to retain most of the squad. Again, being new to the woman’s game, I am still finding my feet regarding players within the game and what we need to add to the squad, so it will take time for us to settle down.
For perhaps new fans of the women’s game, who are some players in your squad they should look out for ?: To be honest I wouldn’t want to single anyone out. My hope is people talk about Glasgow Girls as a good team and appreciate our work ethic. Yes, we will have individuals that may win us games on occasions but I hope people come to watch us because of what we are about as a team and how we want to do things, rather than just watching one or two players.
As well, are there any new/younger players we may see more of in 2019?: We have one or two young players that have been involved in the first team from last season and have shown some real promise. Hopefully over the coming weeks I can get to see more of these players on a regular basis within the first team environment, but it’s too early for me to mention who these players are.
You start the new season playing Partick Thistle, what do you make of that fixture?: Our league opener is against Partick Thistle and will be a very tough game for us. With Partick Thistle having recently been promoted, everyone at the club will be on a real high from their achievements, rightly so, and will be looking to make their mark early in the league campaign. I am sure they will be looking at the first game against us and feel it’s a game they can get all three points, so we will have to be at our best and prepare the best we can and hopefully get off to a winning start.
How important do you think it will be to get off to a good start?: Ideally every Manager/Head Coach wants to get off to a winning start, and I am no different, but for us we will have to be patient, which is not like me when it comes to winning. Initially, it’s more about bedding in our philosophy and trying to ensure the players understand the roles they are given and how to execute them, and when that happens, hopefully we will be able to be more competitive and see regular results.
Given how big 2019 is for Scottish Women’s Football as a whole, how excited are you to be involved?: This being my first year into the senior game, and in the same year as the World Cup in France and the U19s Championships being held in Scotland. I am really looking forward taking some games in and getting to know more of the U19 international level. Hopefully both National teams can make an impression in both competitions and do themselves proud.
I probably got hooked on the women’s game last year while watching Glasgow City’s run in the Champions League, and no doubt through their success, Glasgow City have probably added to their fan base with the exposure. Also with the U19 Championships being held in Scotland, hopefully like me, there will be other people in the country will get enthusiastic about the game and become lifelong fans.
Finally, what would you say to encourage people to come and support your team this season?: Hopefully we will be able to create a competitive team, play in a way that wins games of football. Supporting our club can come in many ways. We all know winning games helps attract old and new supporters and our club will be no different. We are also working hard in the background to raise our social media presence through videoing our games as well as up to date match action. We feel this will help raise the clubs and players profiles, and in turn hoping to gain support through sponsorship and provide a top service for the companies who want to support our club.