The first winner of the Scottish Building Society SWPL Player of the Month for 2018 has been announced as Chelsea McEachran of Central Girls Football Academy. Just under a thousand public votes were cast for the award with Chelsea picking up over a third of the vote. McEachran is one of the youngest players to play in the SWPL and her success at adult level comes off the back of a sparkling youth career. This included two Scottish Cup victories at 13's and 15's level with Falkirk and Central FA respectively. In both finals she scored twice. A statement from SWPL read:
Since gaining promotion to Scottish Building Society SWPL 2, Central Girls FA have shown they will be a tough team to beat. Their 3-1 win away to St Johnstone was perhaps the shock of the opening Sunday. While they’ve lost their last two matches (2-1 at home to Kilmarnock and 3-1 away to Motherwell), those games have been against the current top two teams.
Part of their success and strong performances have been in midfield, where 15 year-old Chelsea has excelled. Speaking from the Indodrill Stadium, Alloa, she said: “To have won this award is a huge honour. This is a very competitive league and we knew we’d have to battle for every point. It’s really pleasing to have a win under our belts and to be getting such recognition at the same time.
“To have lost our last two matches is disappointing but we’ve certainly not been outclassed against two of the most inform teams. We’re in good spirits about the season ahead and are confident of maintaining our Scottish Building Society SWPL 2 status.”
Kerra McKinnie, Head of Marketing & Communications for Scottish Building Society, said: “We’d like to say congratulations to Chelsea and Central Girls FA. 2018 has been a fantastic year for the club and this is further recognition of their hard work.
“This is the first award of the new season and already we’ve seen a really high level of interest. Just under a thousand votes came in, despite us reducing the voting time. We’re delighted to, therefore, see the continued growth in support for the Scottish Building Society SWPL.”
Also nominated for the March award was Suzanne Mulvey (Motherwell), Nina Fitzsimmons (Hamilton Academical), and Katey Turner (Hibernian).
“I’d like to say well done to Chelsea for winning the award and to all those who were nominated” said Kerra. “The early season has proved once again that both leagues will be extremely competitive and we’re sure that’ll be the same when it comes to the Player of the Month Award.”