On Sunday Jeanfield Swifts Ladies will compete in the Quarter Final of the Scottish Cup and this will continue what has been an impressive development story. Literally bottom of womens football a matter of 5 years ago the club have embarked on an incredible journey, and now find themselves in the last 8 of the "Scottish" pitched up against League Leaders Glasgow Girls.
Having been around at the start of the journey, General Manager Steve Grossi talked to us about Sunday's game and what it means to the club and was keen to highlight the various contributions to the Swifts cause.
"The game on Sunday is yet another first for the club and there have certainly been a few over the years and yet again this season. At the start of the season when Jason had taken over full responsibility for all football matters he met with me to ask what structure and support he had. It was a short conversation along the lines of "8 signed players, no match day pitch or training facilities, no coach support, no physio, but the kit is relatively new but you've got a good three weeks before the season starts!
I think many people outside the club looked on us as being relegation candidates but Jason had strong belief and the work he has done with the girls has been nothing short of remarkable.
His training and coaching is top drawer so has them sharp and organised with a great spirit but he has also encouraged them to express themselves and play an open style and they have responded brilliantly with 55 league goals and 24 cup goals to date. As well as competing for a place in the top four of SWPL2 he has given debuts to four 14yr olds, three 15yr olds and two 16yr olds which has
showcased the true development culture at the club. Personally I don't think any Head Coach has come near Jason this year and the positivity about the club is almost infectious at the moment and games can't come quick enough"
Grossi however wasn't just looking at on-pitch events.
"Despite the position we were in in February we've managed to pull together a fantastic backroom and support team - all volunteers -
who are now giving Jason and the players great support, and although there is still a long way to go we certainly now feel like a Premier League Club. But if there was one area where I'd like to express my thanks to at the moment it would be our Sponsors and St Johnstone FC.
The local business community has stood up and supported us magnificently and we've secured 100% player sponsors, as well as sponsors for playing kit, training kit, warm up kit, shorts, as well match day sponsors and even half-time draw & player-of-match sponsors. I'd like to personally thank every one of these local businesses and I can assure them that we have worked incredibly
hard to give them value as simply we would not be here without them and they are very much part of the club and our future survival.
The biggest thanks however is to St Johnstone FC who came to our assistance at the 11th hour in partnering us and assisting us with facilities. Being able to train and play at McDiarmid has been a huge factor in the quality of our play and the way the staff at St Johnstone have treated us when we are training and playing has been awesome. They are a true community club and Mr Brown and his staff deserve huge credit for stepping up and helping us and making a huge contribution to Women's football in the area."
Jeanfield Swifts and Glasgow Girls will contest their Quarter Final at 4pm Sunday 4th September at McDiarmid Astro.
Admission is £3 for adults. The clubs enjoy a healthy relationship and the game promises to be a cracker.
Reported by Jeanfield Swifts FC Picture: Jeanfield Swifts FC