Buckie Ladies get set to defend league and cup crowns after fairytale season of triumph


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LEAGUE and double cup winners Buckie Ladies expect to face a rigorous test when they begin their new competitive campaign early next month.

The team swept it all in what was a fairytale season, claiming the League Cup in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout against Sutherland before taking the league crown without kicking a ball as challenger Clach were beaten by Inverness Caley.

It was a testament to the great development of the club, who were regularly on the wrong side of double-digit defeats just a few years ago.

The end of the season also marked a change in Buckie Ladies’ coaching, with Mel Smith stepping down from her managerial role after four years and her former assistant, Laura Duncan, moving up to the hotseat.

She said: “It was quite an exciting season, it took a long time to sink what we had achieved.

“However, we are the double winners of the league and cup, so we will be the team that other sides want to beat – everyone will want a piece of us.

“I would say Clach will be the main threat again, they are a very consistent side. However, I think Nairn will also be one to watch, they have improved a lot and have a good, young squad.

“We are always looking to add more players to our squad. We have had some players leave for various reasons since the end of last season and we need to add some depth to the squad and freshen things up.

“We have a lot of injuries at the moment and the weather is not helping with training.”

While the team may need players in the short term, things look very rosy in the longer term.

Duncan continued: “We have some players coming through from the development side who are training with the senior team and I’m keeping an eye on them.

“Overall the development side of Buckie Ladies is going really well, there are about 50 girls signed up for the under-8, 10, 12 and 16 teams and hopefully we’ll have an under-14 side next season too. every age group.

“The future looks very bright.”

Buckie Ladies were scheduled to face Nairn at Gordon Park, Portgordon on Sunday 26 March but the match was postponed. They will now get their title defense down the road on Sunday 2nd April with the toughest possible testing road to Clach. Kick-off time is currently billed as 3pm, but keep an eye on the time Buckie Ladies Facebook page for updates on this.

Missing from the competition this year are Kirkwall City Ladies and Inverness Caley, while Ross and Cromarty Women make their debuts.

The senior team train in Portgordon on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm to 8pm – anyone interested in signing up is requested to message the club Facebook page for more details.

For information on joining one of the development teams, visit the Buckie Girls Football Club Facebook page.

Buckie Ladies had their first pre-season run on Sunday 19 March when they took on the newly formed Elgin City Ladies FC at Gordon Park, Portgordon. The champions of the Ring Rusty, who had not played a full game since October, were just knocked out 4-3 by the newbies.

Elgin hopes to join the fifth tier of women’s football in August.

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