Awards a win­ner as they make wel­come re­turn

The Herald on Sunday - - SPORT -

LAST week­end’s Scot­tish Women’s Foot­ball Awards, re­sus­ci­tated for the first time since 2013 and spon­sored by MG Alba, were in­spir­ing and well-de­served recog­ni­tion of the enor­mous amount of un­paid work put in by play­ers, coaches and vol­un­teers. With­out them there would be no do­mes­tic game.

What­ever crit­i­cism SWF at­tracts, and there is still plenty from the top end of the sport, the gov­ern­ing body staged a re­ally good night. Hope­fully the awards will now be­come an an­nual event.

The SBS SWPL1 player of the year was Glas­gow City’s Nicola Docherty cap­ping a fine few days in which she was also called into the Scot­land squad for the game against the USA. A nat­u­ral ath­lete who revels in go­ing for­ward, the left-back had drifted out of na­tional con­tention but now has re­newed in­cen­tive to work her way into Shel­ley Kerr’s World Cup plans.

The same can be said of Hiber­nian striker Abi Har­ri­son, who won the top league Golden Boot award. And in SWPL2 there was a fine dou­ble award for Mother­well cap­tain Suzanne Mul­vey with the striker, still one of the best in the coun­try, win­ing both the player of the year and Golden Boot awards.

Grant Scott was re­warded for a cup dou­ble in his first sea­son at Hibs by win­ning coach of the year, but team of the year went to 12-time SWPL1 cham­pi­ons Glas­gow City.

The in­ter­na­tional player award was won by Erin Cuth­bert. The 20-year-old’s at­ti­tude epit­o­mises the tougher men­tal­ity which the Scot­land team are de­vel­op­ing, but her ac­cep­tance speech – re­layed by video on the evening be­fore she scored an ex­cel­lent goal for Chelsea – also re­vealed a ma­tu­rity way be­yond her years. NOT long now un­til the World Cup draw in Paris on De­cem­ber 8. Kerr di­vulged dur­ing a ques­tio­nand-an­swer ses­sion at the SWF awards that she wouldn’t mind be­ing in the same group as Eng­land.

Why not? In­juries and a de­bat­able team se­lec­tion were largely re­spon­si­ble for the 6-0 Euro 2107 ham­mer­ing. It would be good to have a re-match on bet­ter terms.

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