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Daily Record
Daily Record
Ben Ramage

St Mirren Women coach asks Buddies to back her team ahead of historic SMiSA Stadium appearance

St Mirren Women head coach Kate Cooper is urging her players to keep their focus ahead of their historic match at the SMiSA Stadium.

The Buddies have only stepped out onto the hallowed Paisley turf once in their existence, back in May 2019.

This Sunday they will finally take to the field again, facing off against title hopefuls Westdyke in what will be a momentous occasion for the club, including the staff and the playing squad.

While Cooper understands the huge significance of the match, which will give many of her players their first taste of football in a top flight ground, she believes they’ve still got a job to do as they hunt three points at the SMiSA.

Cooper told Renfrewshire Live Sport: “We’re all excited for the game at the stadium. It’s a chance for everyone associated with the women’s team to make some memories.

“We’ve got several Saints fans in the squad and quite a few season ticket holders as well. It’s a big moment for them to play at the ground.

“For every single player it’s going to be a big deal, but for the lifetime supporters it’ll be extra special.

“It’s important they remember they’ve still got a job to do. A big part of Sunday is going to be about managing the occasion.

“Some of the players’ kids are going to be mascots as well, so we’ll need to manage the excitement of everything that comes with the game.

“The day will probably pass them by in a flash, so it’s important they try to slow it down and stay present.

“As long as they stay focused and don’t leave anything behind then I’m sure it’s going to be a brilliant and memorable day for everyone.”

With the men’s team not playing this weekend, Cooper is hopeful Saints fans will take the opportunity to support the women’s game on Sunday.

The Buddies go into the clash off the back of a tricky 4-2 away defeat to Grampian Ladies.

Cooper is confident they can bounce back with the inspiration of a big Paisley crowd driving them on to success.

She said: “With the World Cup being on it’s a great chance for people to support their local club, who often need more support than the big clubs do.

“We really hope we do get a big crowd in and show how much women’s football is valued now.

“Playing at the SMiSA will show all our players what they could achieve. The potential is there to play at big grounds every week in the women’s game now and it’s important to make the players believe that.

“We went ahead against Grampian but instead of sticking to the game plan, we started to worry about not losing the game.

“If we can stick to our guns and cut out some of the individual mistakes that led to the goals last weekend, I’m fully confident in this squad.

“We’ve got a lot of difficult games over the next four weeks, including Sunday. It’s a big month and it’s a good chance to show we can compete with these teams.”


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