Category: SWPL Team News

Deans Pinpoints Positives To Be Taken Despite Defeat

Kirsty Deans was pleased with her side’s performance despite the defeat to Hibernian in the Scottish Building Society Scottish Women’s Premier League One on Sunday.

The midfielder believes there are many positives to take from the defeat with Farmington defending well against a side challenging for the title.

Deans, 26, felt her teammates approached the game in a positive manner which helped their performance.

“Sunday’s result is bitter sweet. We never want to lose a game and not take points but at the same time there are a lot of positives we can take.”

She continued: “Having played them just a few weeks ago in a friendly I felt we played much better on Sunday and made it really hard for them to break us down. I think the girls took a lot of confidence from the game last week and that allowed us to approach Sunday with a positive mindset.”

Following the result, Deans believes the attitude in the dressing room was positive but admits they were disappointed not to threaten the Hibs defence more often.

“The atmosphere in the changing room was positive at full time. On the whole we felt that we played well, we were well organised and defended well against a side who are known for their goal scoring threat, so we were delighted with that part of the game.”

“Saying that we were a little disappointed not to have done more going forward, we felt with more composure and conviction we could have troubled them a bit more in the middle of the park and final third. We’ll take that at this stage though and that will give us plenty to work on and we’ll look forward to getting another chance to play them soon enough.”

Deans had suffered an injury in pre-season and after a substitute appearance at Hamilton last week, she made the starting XI against Hibs. The midfielder played the full 90 minutes and was delighted to get back playing.

“I was delighted to get a start having got some minutes last week as a sub against Hamilton. It’s been a long time coming to get back into playing after the injury and I’m glad I was able to contribute to the team for the 90 minutes.”

She continued: “I felt on the whole I did my job defensively most of the time but I lacked a bit of composure and sharpness in my decision making but hopefully that will come with more game time and being fully back in training regularly.”

Farmington currently sit fourth in the SBSSWPL1 after their opening two games with three points and Deans reckons this is exactly where the side hoped to be before the season kicked off.

“I think if we looked at the first two games before the season this is exactly where we hoped we would be with 3 points on the board. To limit Hibs to two goals and keep our goal difference tight is hugely important to us and that is something that we are pleased with.”

“I think we can take a lot of confidence from these first two games and look to build on this in the cup next week and then when we return to league action.”

This Sunday sees a break from league action as Farmington host Aberdeen in the League Cup first round. With Aberdeen suffering relegation in 2017 and being in the same position as Farmington were last season, Deans knows that the visitors will be out to prove a point.

“Aberdeen in the cup is going to be a very interesting challenge. They definitely should not be underestimated, as we know they have the capabilities to score goals and are a well organised team who are hard to break down. They have had a couple of mixed results so far and so it is hard for us to predict exactly what to expect but we know that they will be out to prove a point against us.”

“We have taken their spot and they will be out to show that their intent to get back up and challenge again in SWPL1. We are very much looking forward to the challenge though and will go all out to perform well and build on this weekend’s positives.”

SBSSWPL1: Forfar Farmington 0 Hibernian 2

Forfar Farmington suffered their first defeat of the season despite a positive performance as Hibernian won 2-0 at Station Park.

After a goalless first half Amy Gallacher broke the deadlock against her former club in the 54th minute; fellow ex-Farmington attacker Katey Turner making sure of all three points with two minutes remaining.

After last week’s win at Hamilton Accies, Mark Nisbet made two changes as Kirsty Deans and Cheryl Kilcoyne replaced Hannah Stewart and Kayleigh Brough.

Both sides looked to create chances with the closest anyone came in the opening ten minutes arriving when Danni McGinley’s cross was gathered by Jenna Fife with Julia Scott lurking inside the box.

In the 11th minute former Farmington striker Katey Turner had the match’s first effort on goal but could only find the side netting.

Three minutes later Robyn Smith’s cross into the box was nicked off the head of McGinley and the clearance was just inches too high for Scott to make a connection.

McGinley was denied by Fife while at the other end Lucy Graham headed wide from an Emma Brownlie corner.

Another Brownlie corner on the half hour mark was bulleted over by Siobhan Hunter.

The final chance of the half fell to the visitors again, however Hunter was only able to send a long distance effort wide with no threat to Fiona McNicoll.

Hibs looked to break the deadlock early in the second half and came close as a Brownlie cross almost deceived McNicoll; the keeper doing well to smother the ball on the line.

They took the lead in the 54th minute through former Farmington Young Player of the Year Amy Gallacher; Hibs forcing their way through on the left hand side with Gallacher lashing home from close range.

Despite a good performance from Farmington, Hibs looked to grab a second and Lia Tweedie was unlucky not to find the back of the net in the 65th minute as McNicoll pushed her effort over the bar.

Kirsty Smith was also denied by McNicoll with twenty minutes remaining and the visitors were dealt a blow shortly after as Siobhan Hunter was forced off with a nasty looking injury.

Graham hit the bar after connecting with another Brownlie corner but they clinched all three points with just two minutes left of normal time; Turner curling a brilliant 20 yard effort into the net despite McNicoll getting her hand to it.

This ensured all three points left with the visitors but Mark Nisbet’s side can be happy with their performance against one of the league’s title challengers.

Next week sees a break from league action for Farmington as they host Aberdeen in the League Cup first round.

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Danni McGinley, Robyn Smith (Erin Cattanach 71), Nicola Davidson, Alana Bruce, Kirsty Deans, Cheryl Kilcoyne, Cassie Cowper, Megan McCarthy, Julia Scott (Gemma Collier 84), Tammy Harkin

Subs not used: Leah White, Beth Shillitto, Alison Debio, Kayleigh Brough, Chantelle McKay (gk)

Hibernian: Jenna Fife, Siobhan Hunter (Cailin Michie 77), Lisa Robertson, Kirsty Smith, Rachel McLauchlan, Lucy Graham, Amy Gallacher, Ellis Notley, Katey Turner, Emma Brownlie, Lia Tweedie (Shannon McGregor 68)

Sub not used: Hannah Reid (gk)

Smith Elated To Get Season Started With Three Points

Robyn Smith believes it was vital to start the season with a win after Forfar Farmington kicked off their SBSSWPL1 season on Sunday.

The winger netted the only goal early in the second half as Farmington took all three points against Hamilton Accies at a snowy New Douglas Park.

Smith, 24, was pleased with the way her teammates went about their business but felt they could have scored more had they taken their chances.

“We played well in spells and could have went ahead in the first half with some good chances, we knew at half time there was goals coming so being more direct and clinical in the final third was important and eventually it paid off.”

She continued: “We limited Hamilton to any real chances which shows in the result. I think again we could have had a few more goals today but were happy to come away with our first 3 points, sometimes that can be the hardest part.”

With Farmington returning to the top flight after a season in SBSSWPL2, they were looking to prove a point in their first game and Smith reckons they did just that.

“It was very important to get three points, we knew that if we played to our strength we would walk away with all three points. Hamilton are a side that know what it’s like to come back up and prove a point and I think we done exactly that.”

The former Jeanfield Swifts winger scored the winning goal in the 53rd minute, stroking home a Julia Scott cross. Smith was pleased with her own performance but feels she needs to believe in her ability more often.

“Overall I think I done away fine today I just need to believe in my own ability more! It’s always great to score and even better when it’s a winning goal, I rarely score so it means more to me when it gets the team the three points.”

Farmington entertain Hibernian on Sunday at Station Park in their first home game of the season; Smith is eager for the side to play their own game and will be happy if they take something.

“We will go into next week with confidence and see what happens, Hibs are an excellent side with great quality, but it’s what happens on the day that matters, you never know what can happen in football.”

“Of course we would love to take something from the game but we won’t get carried away with ourselves. We will play our own game and see what happens come Sunday.”

SBSSWPL1: Hamilton Academical 0 Forfar Farmington 1

Forfar Farmington started their SBSSWPL1 season in the best possible fashion as they defeated Hamilton Academical 1-0.

Robyn Smith’s 53rd minute goal was enough to give Mark Nisbet’s side all three points at the Superseal Stadium.

Close season signings Cassie Cowper, Hannah Stewart and Tammy Harkin were all handed debuts while Sophie Milligan missed out through injury.

The hosts had the first opportunity of the game in the sixth minute as Lori Gardner attempted an overhead effort but failed to beat Fiona McNicoll.

A minute later Megan McCarthy was inches away from opening the scoring; Cassie Cowper’s free kick found the defender but she stabbed the ball wide.

In the 19th minute Hannah Stewart’s cross was cleared for a corner with Danni McGinley waiting and from Julia Scott’s set piece Cowper saw her effort cleared off the line.

Sixty seconds later Tammy Harkin was denied by Lauren Grant while Nicola Davidson’s long range effort had the sting taken out of it by an oncoming defender as both sides started to cancel each other out before half time.

The second half saw Forfar come flying out the blocks with Davidson and McGinley testing Grant in the first three minutes.

Farmington went one better in the 53rd minute; Scott’s pinpoint cross was swept home by Robyn Smith at the far post.

A minute later Gardner couldn’t beat McNicoll while Nina Fitzsimmons’ cross was headed over by Katie Rice who should have done better.

On the hour mark Scott sent an effort just past the post as Farmington looked to add a second.

The Forfar defence held firm through a period of pressure from the hosts as they restricted them to two long distance shots from Rice that McNicoll gathered with ease.

In the 87th minute Stewart could, and probably should, have killed the game off as snow fell on the pitch; subs Kirsty Deans and Cheryl Kilcoyne combined for the latter to spray the ball across for the winger to blast over the bar.

The final chance fell to Accies sub Teigan McCann in injury time; she made her way into the box and after cutting inside, tamely sent a shot into the arms of McNicoll.

The result is the perfect start to the 2018 SBSSWPL1 season and Farmington will look to build on this when they take on Hibernian next week.

Hamilton Academical: Lauren Grant, Amy Anderson (Teigan McCann 65), Nina Fitzsimmons, Kirsty Fraser (Mhairi Lyle 78), Lori Gardner, Kodie Hay (Deborah McLeod 65), Gillian Inglis, Jade Lindsay, Emma Lyons, Megan Quinn, Katie Rice

Substitutes: Danielle Connolly, Jordan McLintock, Emily Shearer, Carys Hopkins (gk)

Forfar Farmington: Fiona McNicoll, Danni McGinley (Alison Debio 90+1), Robyn Smith (Beth Shillitto 86), Nicola Davidson, Alana Bruce, Cassie Cowper, Megan McCarthy, Julia Scott (Cheryl Kilcoyne 57), Tammy Harkin, Hannah Stewart, Kayleigh Brough (Kirsty Deans 57)

Substitutes: Leah White, Lotte Deubel, Chantelle McKay (gk)

McKay Feeling Positive Ahead Of New Season

Chantelle McKay is confident that Forfar Farmington are ready for the season ahead after a testing pre-season schedule.

The 21 year old goalkeeper is also looking forward to her first season at the top level of women’s football, hoping to battle Fiona McNicoll for the number one spot.

Farmington played three games against Hearts, Hibernian and Rangers and McKay reckons the last few weeks have gone as expected and have prepared the side for the new season.

“Pre-season has gone as we all expected, I think challenging but enjoyable for everyone, including the new players coming in it’s all mainly been about game time and adapting to the changes that we’re going to be facing. Each game has been totally different and has given us a little taster of what to expect in these next few months in the SWPL1.”

McKay continued: “Our game against Hibs was all about seeing what the top standard was all about and how we have to go around competing against the best; I feel like we are prepared and have a strong stable group going forward which will help us compete at the top level.”

The opening fixture of the season sees Mark Nisbet’s side travel to Hamilton Academical this Sunday; McKay feels the match between the 2016 & 2017 SBSSWPL2 champions is an excellent way to kick off the campaign.

“Our first fixture away to Hamilton is going to be tough but a good challenge for us. With them winning the SWPL2 two seasons ago and ourselves last season it should be an exciting game. We would obviously love to start our league campaign with a win.”

“All preparations for this game will start in training this week and we will hopefully come away with the three points setting us on the way to achieving our season long goal of staying in the league.”

The former Tayside keeper played three times last season; with this being her first season in the top flight, she is eager to gain experience. Fiona McNicoll stands in her way as the current number one, however McKay hopes to keep improving herself and gain more game time.

“I’m looking forward to this season, mainly for the experience as I haven’t seen much football at the top level throughout my career. Fiona is an excellent keeper and works hard every week, I can only try my best to keep up with her and her standards to better myself and build my confidence to allow myself to have any chance of getting some more game time.”

2017 was McKay’s first year at the club and she still believes that moving to Station Park was one of the best decisions she has ever made.

“Moving to Forfar has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my whole life. Since joining Forfar I’ve enjoyed my football so much more, I’ve gained so much more knowledge and understanding of the game and I have become a much fitter person in general. I’m looking forward to another season at the club.”

Mark Nisbet has added Sophie Milligan, Hannah Stewart, Tammy Harkin and Cassie Cowper to his squad during the close season with McKay impressed by the quartet so far.

“All four girls have been excellent, they’ve came in, settled down and have done what’s been asked of them. They are all pretty versatile so have fitted in with the group well and gave us that extra boost that we needed after losing a few faces at the end of the season.”

“As a new player to the squad last season I know how difficult it is to join a new team but Forfar is a friendly club who have a great bunch of girls which they’ve been made to feel part of.”

Deubel Keen To Make Her Mark In Top Flight

Lotte Deubel has her eyes set on forcing her way into Mark Nisbet’s plans with the beginning of the competitive season a fortnight away.

The versatile 21 year old joined Farmington from Tayside Ladies at the tail end of last season and hopes she can make an impact in a strong squad.

Reflecting on her first few months in the squad, Deubel praised her teammates having made her feel welcome from day one.

“It’s been great so far, as soon as I joined I felt part of the team. The team welcomed me straight away and are a great group of girls to train and play with.”

Deubel had played in Division One of the Scottish Women’s Football League prior to moving to Station Park and she admits the move up to a higher level has been tough so far but is keen to learn.

She said: “It’s been tough, especially as the standard of football within the team and the league is very high, but I enjoy the challenge of this. I learn something at every training session and enjoy being able to improve and challenge myself as a player.”

With one appearance to her name so far, a cameo from the bench in a 7-1 win over Buchan in October 2017, Lotte hopes to continue to work hard to impress the head coach.

“Coming into the team my main goal was to work my way into the starting eleven. I believe if I keep working hard and show my ability in training sessions and games I could hopefully achieve this throughout this season.”

Deubel was impressed with the pre-season programme given to the players as they prepare for the new season and feels this can only benefit them in the long run.

“I see myself as a fit player, and I was very challenged by the programme given, especially the conditioning aspect. This will definitely help us this season to compete against teams in the league where players are very physically fit.”

With the side returning to the top flight, Deubel reckons the lessons learnt from their previous spell will stand the side in good stead for the 2018 season.

“I believe we will be good contenders within the top flight this season. The squad learned a lot from their 2016 season as well as last season and I think this will prepare us a lot better for the season to come.”

She continued: “Winning the title has definitely given the squad a boost to perform well against tougher teams this season and remain in the top flight.”

New Signing | Hannah Stewart

Latest signing Hannah Stewart is eager to is to contribute as much as possible during her time at the club.

The 21 year old attacker links up with a familiar face in Mark Nisbet after joining Farmington on loan from Glasgow City until May.

With her signing announced earlier in the week, Stewart will play for the club while she completes her studies and she expressed her gratefulness for the chance to do so.

“I’m very grateful to Forfar for letting me play for the club whilst I finish my studies back in Aberdeen. Forfar have a great set up and a great mind set going into the season, so it’s good to be a part of it.”

During her time at Aberdeen, Hannah played under a coaching team that contained current Farmington head coach Mark Nisbet; the former Scotland U19 internationalist felt the head coach’s traits influenced her decision to join the club.

“The set up and professionalism that Mark brings to the club on and off the pitch definitely helped in my decision to sign.”

Hannah has previous SBSSWPL experience, having played for both Buchan and Aberdeen in the top flight of women’s football and she hopes she can utilise this while still learning during her time at Station Park.

She said: “I hope I can use my experience in every game I play. I’m still young and still have a lot to learn, and I’m sure I can do this at Forfar. I hope I can contribute fully to the team and their goals for the whole time I’m at the club.”

With Farmington returning to the top flight after their title winning season in the second tier, Stewart hopes she can help to push the club as high as possible while in a blue shirt.

“Obviously I want to do as well as I can in every game I play and I hope I’m able to push Forfar as far up the table as possible during my time at the club. The club has a great set up with a lot of support behind it, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t achieve what we set out to.”

McCarthy Excited To Return To Top Flight

Defender Megan McCarthy believes the side can impress in the top flight this season with the season now less than a month away.

The 25 year old was part of a strong defence last season as they comfortably won the Scottish Women’s Premier League Two title and reckons they can avoid relegation in their first season back.

With pre-season beginning last week, McCarthy spoke of her excitement to get the season underway on February 11th.

“We have just started pre-season, there’s sort of a love hate relationship going on with that. I am excited for that because we can get in some game time before the season begins but it will be a good test of what’s to come.”

Farmington added three players last week with more to follow and McCarthy feels Cassie Cowper, Tammy Harkin and the returning Sophie Milligan have gelled well with the rest of the squad so far.

She said: “The signings have settled in well, it’s still early days for them at the club and I think they are doing well getting to know the girls and the style of play. They are all great additions to the club and I’m looking forward to seeing them play.”

Last time Farmington were in the top flight in 2016 they were relegated, however the former Inverness City defender believes dropping down to the second tier of the SWPL helped them work on their weaknesses and better themselves.

“We have had a season together last year to rebuild and reform the team. Last year I think gave us a change to work on our strengths and weaknesses, which in turn helped to build confidence. That being said, I believe we can do better this year especially if we keep last year’s form up.”

“It’s going to be a different ball game in SWPL1 but as I said, last year gave us a chance to work on our weaknesses. We hope to impress and we are ready to dig deep to pull out performances.”

McCarthy formed a partnership with Gemma Collier and Erin Cattanach in defence last season and she praised the duo for their performances.

“They’re great girls, very vocal, which is what I need to keep me on track. We work hard for each other each week and that’s all you can ask for.”

Title Winning Squad Nominated For ANGUSAlive Award

The club are delighted to announce that the SBSSWPL2 championship winning squad have been nominated for the ANGUSAlive Team of the Year award in their Sports Awards for 2017.

This award, sponsored by Community Sport Hubs, aims to recognise the achievements and commitment of voluntary sports teams at all levels, in 2017.

Mark Nisbet’s side, which also reached the semi finals of the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup, are nominated alongside seven other teams, which are as follows:

Arbroath Gymnastics Club Elite Display Team

Arbroath St. Thomas Swimming Club Girls Relay Team

Arbroath United Cricket Club Under 16’s

Forfar Boys FC 2004’s

Royal Montrose Golf Club Senior Section

Strathmore Silverbacks

Tayside Musketeers Cadet Men

The winner will be named at their awards ceremony on Friday 16 March 2018 at the Reid Hall, Forfar.

Head coach Mark Nisbet spoke of his pride that the players have been nominated for the award after winning the Scottish Building Society Scottish Women’s Premier League Two title last year.

“I’m delighted that the players have been recognised for their achievements last year. To win a national league and get to a Scottish Cup semi final is a fantastic achievement and has rightfully earned them the nomination.”

You can attend the event, celebrating the achievements and efforts of the nominees of all awards at the event with tickets available to purchase.

Early bird tickets for the awards can be purchased online until Friday 19 January with full price tickets on sale from Saturday 20 January and can be purchased from www.angusalive.scot/tickets. The evening includes a welcome drink, two course dinner, evening entertainment and the awards ceremony.

New Signing | Tammy Harkin

The club are delighted to announce our third signing of the week as Tammy Harkin joins the club from Dundee United.

Harkin, 26, moves from the SWFL1 North runners up and she is eager to get going with her new teammates.

Speaking shortly after signing, the midfielder feels the squad are willing to work hard for each other.

“I’m delighted to have signed for Forfar, it’s a great bunch of girls who are willing to work hard, both for themselves and others and there’s a good team spirit.”

Harkin continued: “What attracted me to the club was most definitely the fact that they are now playing at the top level, from what I have seen and heard in the past few weeks at training sessions, the club has such high ambitions and wants to strive to be the best which is something I want to be part of.”

With the side returning to the top flight of the SBSSWPL, Harkin believes the talent within the squad is good enough to ensure they consolidate in their first season.

“The squad has a good variety of players who are all talented and bring something to the team therefore I don’t doubt for a second they will work hard and earn the rewards.”

Harkin admits she is also looking forward to the challenge of earning a spot in the team each week with players such as Nicola Davidson and Kirsty Deans jockeying for the midfield positions.

She said: “I am looking forward to the challenge of having to work hard for a place in the team every week, I am competing against talented girls and if the coach believes I bring something and I get to start games, I will be very happy.”