Aberdeen FC Women manager Emma Hunter has urged her players to make their title party extra special – by beating Boroughmuir Thistle in front of friends and family.
The SWPL 2 champions complete their campaign at Balmoral Stadium on Sunday (4pm) with a limited number of spectators allowed to attend.
Dons boss Hunter reckons that gives the players the perfect opportunity to put on a show.
She said: “We want to finish this league off in style with friends and family there on a home ground, even though it’s not here (Cormack Park) but Balmoral Stadium.
“Being able to have some fans there to enjoy it with us, we want to put on a good display as they’ve not managed to see a lot of games.”
Hunter hopes even more fans will want to attend their matches next season as restrictions continue to ease in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is likely the Reds will play their SWPL 1 home matches at Balmoral Stadium due to the division’s entry criteria stating clubs in the top tier must provide “a minimum level of cover for spectators at 199 seated covered places”.
Hunter added: “Hopefully in SWPL 1 restrictions lift even more and people can come to watch us.
“That’s the aim: to get more girls, families and Dons fans down to watch us compete in SWPL 1. And hopefully they’ll see some great games of football as well.
“Even if they can’t come this Sunday to join us, hopefully we will see more of them coming next season.”
Take care of business first
While finally getting their hands on the league trophy will be an enticing prospect, Hunter will remind her players that beating Boroughmuir must be their first priority on the day.
She said: “We want to finish it on a high so we can go into next season full of confidence – but Boroughmuir have come on leaps and bounds in the second half of the season.
“We played them before and they were really difficult to break down, so I’m expecting a tough game.
“They’ll try to spoil the party for us, so we need to be switched on and make sure we control the game like we did against Glasgow Women.”
The Dons crushed Glasgow 8-1 at Cormack Park on Thursday, with midfielder Eilidh Shore bagging a hat-trick, Bayley Hutchison and Bailley Collins each grabbing a brace, captain Kelly Forrest finding the target and forward Francesca Ogilvie setting up five of the goals.
Shore insists the comprehensive manner of their victory over Glasgow was the ideal preparation for a trophy day triumph.
“We started the game against Glasgow really strong, which is what we set out to do,” said Shore.
“Getting a few early goals made it really comfortable for us and took the pressure off.
“We now want to finish strong. It’s been a really positive season from us all so we want to finish it exactly how we’ve played throughout, with a win.”
All five matches on Sunday kick off at 4pm, with the second promotion spot still up for grabs.
Hamilton Accies, second with 35 points, host Kilmarnock knowing a win guarantees them an SWPL 1 place next season.
— Scottish Building Society SWPL (@SWPL) July 1, 2021
Partick Thistle are one point behind Accies and travel to Dundee United, who are a point worse off than the Jags.
Elsewhere, Glasgow Women are at home to Queen’s Park and Stirling University go to St Johnstone.