On Tuesday night I interviewed Forfar Farmington’s captain Nicola Davidson and defender Alana Bruce on their thoughts on the season so far and other things such as how they had felt young players in the squad had adapted to playing in the Scottish Women’s Premier League having been forced to after almost every senior player left the club over the winter.
With the first half of the season over with, what are your thoughts on how it’s gone so far?
Alana Bruce: I didn’t take part until the later on in the season but as far as I’m concerned it’s been a difficult one. It’s a difficult one to comment on too considering we’ve had such success in the past couple of seasons, it’s difficult to hit the ground as hard as we have. As far as I’m concerned the youngsters have come on a lot from what I’ve watched in the earlier games and then playing with them, they’ve certainly grown into that player that they need to become to compete in the Premier League and hopefully keep us up.
Nicola Davidson: I think it’s just been a learning curve for the young ones, a big step for them to take, we had quite a hard start to the season but there’s not really much to comment on.
How do you feel the youngsters have adjusted to their first season at senior level?
Nicola Davidson: Some of them are still learning and they’ve still got a bit to go because it is a big step to take but some of them have taken to it like a duck to water, they’ve adjusted really well, haven’t been shy and have been quite confident, which is good.
Alana Bruce: It’s been difficult for them, obviously in the past they’ve had the luxury of being able to come into games later on, like subbed on in the 80th minute and it gives them a little feel for it but this season they’ve been thrown in at the deep end, they’ve floated for the most part and done well. They build their strength during team training and applying themselves at training to hopefully make themselves stand out more on the Sunday and be strong enough to take on the opposition of women that are twice their ages. I think they’ve done quite well to adapt to that under the circumstances that led to that happening.
Has the season’s split come at a bad time with the side coming into form in the past couple of games?
Nicola Davidson: Yes and no. I think no because it’s good to get the split, we can regroup, work on the things we need to work on and become stronger and better. Yes because I think we are just finding our way, maybe another couple of games we would have settled with, but it’s maybe a good chance to regroup I guess.
Alana Bruce: I used to think of the split in the season as, well, it was always such a positive thing for us to hope we would be in the top six and that it’d be a big game every week, that’s what you thrive on and it’s been the same this time, I’m so glad there has been a split because, like Nicola said, it gives us a chance to regroup and play teams that are in and around our calibre, teams that will give us the confidence like with Sunday’s game. That was a huge confidence boost for the girls, getting shots away, playing passing, the things we need to be developing within this close season in order to push on in the second half of the season and use that as a platform. Hopefully Sunday is the start of something good.
What are your hopes for the second half of the season?
Nicola Davidson: Train hard, play hard and finish as high as we can.
Alana Bruce: Obviously the start of the season wasn’t ideal and we found ourselves rock bottom, but to take from that win on Sunday the three points we need to get off the bottom, and that’ll be the last time we’re there. In the second half of the season we’re looking to push on, have a good couple of games against the likes of Hamilton Accies who took points off us. Hamilton were good but indeed have a couple of players from other clubs who are bolstering them at the moment. If we can knit ourselves together, push on and get as many points as we can out of the second half of the season then certainly three points every game is what we’re aiming for, that’s what we want.
After my questions Nicola and Alana had some more comments:
Alana Bruce: It’s difficult with regards to the coaching staff, Paul’s found himself on his own again and it will be difficult so let’s hope this second half sees us getting a bit more support coaching wise and Paul getting more support coaching wise as it will then hopefully help us on the pitch, it’s not easy doing everything by yourself.
Nicola Davidson: Let’s put this season down as a learning curve. It’s been an experience and an adventure for the younger ones.
Alana Bruce: It’s difficult to get players into the Premier League because players don’t want to be pushing themselves, they’re quite happy to play in the first division and second division and just scutter about, not push themselves to their full potential. There is plenty that could play in this league, they just don’t want to push themselves.
The SWPL side’s fixtures for the second half of the season are as follows:
27th July – Hamilton Accies (home)
10th August – Queen’s Park (away)
17th August – Spartans (home) in the Scottish Cup 3rd Round
24th August – Hutchison Vale (home)
31st August – Buchan (away)
7th September – Inverness City (home)
21st September – Hamilton Accies (away)
5th October – Queen’s Park (home)
12th October – Hutchison Vale (away)
26th October – Buchan (home)
2nd November – Inverness City (away)