Forfar Farmington defender Jade McLaren says she didn’t take the fact that she didn’t get called up for the Scotland under 17’s recently to heart, instead using it to pinpoint aspects of her game she felt she has to improve.
The 16 year old centre back, who started her career at St Andrews Soccerettes six years ago, has been at Farmington since last season, joining up with the under 17’s from Dundee United Social Club where she played with fellow SWPL players Lindsey Dunbar and Amy Gallacher. She hasn’t always been a defender, starting off as a striker then a midfielder before her current position. McLaren also played for the Scottish Schools team last year which were successful with a double trophy win.
On the Scotland snub, she said ‘Missing out on the Scotland call up, I personally didn’t take it too much to heart as I seen it as a way of finding out the main aspects of my performance that I need to improve; since then I have gone on to train more and have been looking to improve certain aspects of my game to become a better player all round!’
‘I’m now developing speed programmes to be quicker on and off the ball, making my intensity of play 10x better. I think my strengths as a player is that I’m vocal on and off the pitch, I’m quite an aggressive player I would say but technically I would say I could improve a lot, like my first touch, amongst other things.’
All credit to Amy Gallacher for her call up, I wish her the best of luck and to smash it whilst away!’
The talented McLaren believes that she has improved so much from playing in the Premier League, where she made her debut in August last year ‘Last season being asked to play for the first team whilst playing for the 17s was a big achievement for me although I do wish I grabbed the opportunity a lot sooner than I did.’
‘I take it as a huge honour to be playing in the Premier League at such a young age but I think moving into the SWPL this year was a good choice because I have improved so much on my performance and my attitude towards training just from playing up a level. I’d like to thank Alana Bruce, Nicky Grant and Nicola Davidson for taking me into the Premier squad last season and helping me to improve.’
She has missed just one game this season when a call up for a Performance Camp saw her miss the 9-2 victory over Claremont in the Scottish Cup, but has chipped in with two goals in her fifteen games and despite a struggling start, reckons that the side is now coming on leaps and bounds ‘I think over the first half of the season that was just us getting to other and starting to play as a team. The second half was what we were really focusing on and since the league restarted in July I believe we have come on leaps and bounds as individual players and as a team.’
‘I think this season I had to step up as one of the more vocal ones in the team because of my insight into the league towards the end of last season and I would think I’ve been successful in doing so. I hope, as does everyone else, that we stay up in the league and go on to challenge the bigger teams next season!’