[SWPL Preview] Rangers Woman vs Hearts Women

By This Is Ibrox
 February 19, 2020

The first game of the SWPL season is just days away now and it’s Hearts that provide the opposition for Rangers.

Both teams have been busy bringing in players ahead of the new season.

One of Rangers new signings has already gone down in the history books. Bala Devi, become the first Indian professional footballer as well the first ever Asian international to join Rangers.

We were lucky enough to speak to Bala about her new team mates and Sunday’s tie against Hearts.

This Is Ibrox| Looking ahead to the first game of the SWPL season this Sunday against Hearts. How have preparations been? Are you confident of getting off to a good start?

Bala Devi| Preparations have been really good. For myself its the first time I have gone through such an intensive and comprehensive pre season. We missed out on the two Cup matches due to the postponements and now I am really looking forward to the First Scottish Womens Premier League match. Its also a home match so I hope fans turn out to support us.

This Is Ibrox| Are there any stand out players in the Rangers Women’s team that you are particularly excited to play with this season? What makes them stand out?

Bala Devi| There are some exciting players. I am still getting to know everyone so not naming anyone in particular now.

I am also enjoying playing with Sonia O’Neill as she is also my flatmate so we get along well.

Rangers star Sonia O’Neill.

This Is Ibrox| How much have you learnt in your first few weeks at Rangers?

Bala Devi| I am adjusting my style of play to suit the more physical quicker passing game we have here compared to that in India. I am still getting used to being in full time training and in a support system day in and day out.

I am not used to training and such a good overall facility. The training centre facilities make it ideal for us as we get the benefit of really good grounds, the gym, nutrition and all the support facilities at the club.

This Is Ibrox| What message would you give to the Rangers fans to encourage them to support the Women’s team this season?

Bala Devi| Its a big year for the Rangers Womens Football Team. We have some good players who play exciting football.

Please come out and support us. There is nothing like playing in front of your fans and it will help us and encourage us to do better.

The Rangers team celebrate.

Our full interview with Bala Devi will be available on our blog from 6pm today (21/02/20).

We also spoke with former Rangers Women’s star Lisa Swanson. Lisa who is currently playing with Hearts will be in the away dressing room at the Hummel Training Centre this Sunday:

This Is Ibrox| Lisa, how has pre-season been for Hearts? Are you confident ahead of the new season?

Lisa Swanson| Pre-season has been going really well, it’s been tough as it always is but it’s been really beneficial. Everyone’s clear on what the aims are this season so it’s down to us now to carry that out.

This Is Ibrox| Hearts have been busy brining in some new players of their own, is there anyone that stands out or really excites you?

Lisa Swanson| It’s difficult to pinpoint certain players as everyone has their own abilities/uniqueness about them. There’s exciting players amongst the squad but at this stage right now I’d rather not give too much away in terms of what players to look out for.

Hearts team preparing for Sunday’s game.

This Is Ibrox| You know the Rangers side very well, what do you expect from them on Sunday?

Lisa Swanson| I know Rangers Football Club inside out in terms of what it takes to be a Rangers player and the pressure that comes with that so I know what Rangers will be expecting from the game.

I actually don’t know anything about the current Rangers women’s team right now, the season after I left the club Rangers then invested in the women’s team and all the players that I played alongside were released.

This Is Ibrox| How well is the women’s game growing in Scotland? Do you think there is anything more we need to do to promote the game?

Lisa Swanson| The game is growing in Scotland ever year. Rangers and Celtic are the only two professional teams in the league so far so it would be good if that could happen throughout every team in the league. I’m not sure how possible that is but I know it would make the league more competitive.

This Is Ibrox| What would be your advice to encourage more supporters to follow women’s football.

Lisa Swanson| I think of more supporters give women’s football a chance then you’ll likely get more interest in the game. Some supporters write women’s football off straight away without even going to a game.

Social media also has a massive influence in match attendances too. The more the team is promoted and the more content put out there about teams, the more interest there will be.

Sunday’s game looks to be a thrilling affair. You can attend the game at the Hummel Training Centre, kick off at 14:00.

Tickets are £5 adults, £3 concession and £1 children: available online at www.rangers.co.uk

Thanks for reading.

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