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 Partick Thistle Head Coach, James McCafferty.
How are excited are you for the 2019 season?: Very excited , it’s a competitive league.
What are your aims and ambitions for the new season?: To compete every game and not be there to make up the numbers. We have ambitions as a club and as a squad to play in SWPL 1 and this season, early on, will allow us to test our own perceptions of what we can achieve. We have our aims as a squad that we will look to achieve.
Based on the other teams in the league, do you think this will be the most competitive season ever?: We have never been in this league so for us it will be the hardest season to date.
With the new season around a month away, how have preparations been so far?: So far so good. The squad only had a short time off and were back in training in December.
Do you have plans to/have you had much change to the squad? What impact could this have on your season?: Any team wants to add and will never be contempt just to sit still. We have added and we will add more but we have a good squad of players. The dynamics of the squad has changed and the availability of players has changed. Last season we had some players only able to make games now and then with work etc, but that’s changing for the better this season and hopefully will allow us to be more consistent in team selection and shape.
For perhaps new fans of the women’s game, who are some players in your squad they should look out for?: We have a number of players who will be key to us as the season goes on, so not going to single anyone out for that before a balls even kicked. However, Rebecca Bisland’s experience as a player really helps the squad and her knowledge of the game will help the younger players in the squad. We are delighted to have with us for another season.
As well, are there any new/younger players we may see more of in 2019?: We have a number of young players in the squad. Emma Lawton is a player who I have no doubt will be playing at the top level at just 17 and Loren Christie. Her pace will cause every team a worry.
You start the new season playing Glasgow Girls away, what do you make of that fixture?: Looking forward to it. They have a new manager in there so we know very little about them. I think it will be a very tight game with both teams going all out to get three points and off to a good start.
How important do you think it will be to get off to a good start?: Nothing’s won or lost in the first few games of the season but I’m sure everyone would rather have the points on the board sooner rather than later.
Given how big 2019 is for Scottish Women’s Football as a whole, how excited are you to be involved?: I think it’s a great time to be involved in the game. For myself, this my 5th season between the girls and women’s teams. I’m sure the success of the national team will drive participation and if they get some good publicity and some backing then that can only drive the game here.
Finally, what would you say to encourage people to come and support your team this season?: We try to play football the way it should be, on the ground and try to encourage the team to take risk and express them self on the park. The more people that come and cheer us on, the better.