||By Paul Elliott
YFS Henson Youth Cup Final Reporter
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It has been a historic year for Glasgow Girls FC. Amongst many achievements this year, the club won the prestigious "Community Champions Award" at the 2012 McDonalds/Sunday Mail Grassroots Awards, and was also featured in a four minute video on the large screens during half time at Hampden, St James's Park, Millennium Stadium and Wembley at all the Olympic football matches.
It was granted planning permission to site three changing units within Budhill Park and was awarded Glasgow City Council’s Glasgow Life "Clubmark" award - the second Quality Mark Award the club has achieved along with the SFAs "Community" award.
Now, following a successful league campaign, the club has deservedly progressed to the 17s Scottish Cup final and will take to the field at Toryglen to face Murieston. When a club is set to make its first ever appearance at a major final at any age level, just as Glasgow Girls are, it would be forgiven if there was a certain degree of nervousness around the club. The good news for Glasgow Girls is that the mood in the camp is at a searing high.
Manager, Jim Strathdee said:
“It’s looking good at the moment. The girls are confident for the final but Murieston are a good team. We’ve had them watched twice and we know they’re a good team. So it’s going to be an exciting final - an even final if you like. Both teams can score goals so you’re probably looking at a high scoring final.”
Strathdee is respectful of his club’s cup final opponents but is also positive about his own chances and successes. He said:
“Murieston have done well, that’s two years in a row they’ve been to the final, with mostly the same squad. This is our first time being in a Scottish Cup final as a club in general. No age group has ever been here before. This bunch of girls have been here for three years now and have already reached the League Cup final and we’ve now finished third in the league behind Rangers and Celtic, which is no disgrace. It’s a real achievement when you look at teams like Hamilton Accies; there are a lot of good teams in our league.”
Glasgow Girls’ run to the Scottish Cup Final has been goal-laden. They defeated Dunfermline 3-0, Tayside Celtic 3-2, Hamilton Accies 5-1, and then they staged a magnificent comeback to defeat Hibs 3-2 in the semis. The team has an exceptional work ethic and desire to succeed, which has clearly taken them far. This ethos can be seen in their preparation for the final.
“We’ve got a lot of things planned for this week. We’re actually going to train indoors at Toryglen this week for two hours, just to get the girls used to the surroundings. We’ll get the team sheet and tactics done by Thursday, then on Saturday we’ll just refresh it with them so they all know where they’re playing, and how they’re playing.”
With it being Glasgow Girls’ first appearance at a major final, the club is actively encouraging its players, parents & supporters to create a carnival atmosphere with black & purple balloons, banners, flags and horns. They also have Glasgow Girls FC scarves, which have been selling well, and the support for the team is at a fever-pitch.
“It would mean a lot to the club.” Strathdee said. “This is now our fifth year in existence. It has taken us four years to get the club’s infrastructure right, and it has been a lot of hard work. But now that we have the infrastructure it would be nice to have some success on the park. We’re hoping to win it, but more importantly we’re hoping to give a good account of ourselves.”
After all the success the club has had over the last year, a Scottish Cup in the trophy cabinet would certainly be the sweetest icing on the cake for Glasgow Girls.