Glasgow City travel to Stirling this week to take on Stirling University in the opening fixture of the 2016 SWPL 1 campaign, writes Alan Zycinski.
This is the first game in City’s challenge to defend their crown and win the league for a tenth consecutive time. The girls will also be hoping to achieve the impossible and complete the domestic treble as they have done for the past four successive years.
Pre-season has gone well for City with the Scottish Champions taking part in the Turbine-Hallencup in Germany as well as earning a hard fought draw against Sunderland before a resounding 14 – 0 victory in the League Cup over Inverness City. With clean sheets in both games, City are looking solid at the back.
New signing Gemma Fay is expected to start in goals and the Scotland goalkeeper - with almost two hundred caps - will add a wealth of experience to the side. Ruesha Littlejohn also re-signed for the squad in the close season and will be hoping to feature regularly in the heart of Scott Booth's very talented midfield.
As far as injuries are concerned, Fiona Brown's return to the field against Inverness will be a huge boost to the Glasgow City squad. Brown came back from a lengthy period on the sidelines and scored within minutes of being brought onto the park and adds a real attacking threat to City's play. Alyshia Walker and Emily Thomson both continue their rehabilitation and are not expected to feature in the early part of the season.
Stirling University have the home advantage on Sunday and will be looking to pick up some opening day points as they mount their challenge in the SWPL 1. The two sides last met in Stirling in May 2015, with Glasgow City emerging 3-0 winners and so will be hoping for a repeat performance.
Looking ahead to the game, City Head Coach Scott Booth said, “It will be great to finally get our league campaign started this weekend at Stirling Uni. Most of our squad has been away for internationals over the last week or so which only gives us a couple of days to settle them back into training before they focus on domestic business. We know this will be a tough match so everyone needs to be ready."
Stirling University v Glasgow City kicks off at 12.15pm on Sunday at the University grounds. Entry is £3 adult and £1 concession. Spectators are asked to park at the University swimming pool or in the University car park.