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Success in the City of Discovery
It was a very convincing win for our ladies squad as they swept Dundee City aside in the second round of the League Cup last weekend.
Another difficult pitch didn’t make conditions easy for either side, but Motherwell were quick to dominate play and test the young City keeper.
City did threaten the ‘Well goal however but Linda Gibson was quick to shut the door.
‘Well ladies netted the first goal and continued in fine form to see the first half out 6-0. The second half begun much like the first. Dundee showed a lot of resilience to beat off an onslaught of ‘Well attacks, however they weren’t able to hold off the ‘Tiki taka’ style of ‘Well play that saw several quick breaches of their defensive line.
Gaffer McArthur, spoilt for choice, then looked to the bench to utilise some of the excellent young talent he has in the squad… that proved highly successful. Fresh legs and fresh faces brought a change the City players weren’t able to counteract, with goals 7, 8 and 9 coming in quick succession.
A late penalty shout saw City with a chance to claw one back for the home side, which they did successfully with a coolly converted kick from the spot.
Final score: Dundee City 1, Motherwell Ladies 9.
Goals: Liddell (3), M.Burns (2) Mason (1), McInally (1) T.Burns (1) Gallagher (1)
This week’s Player Focus sees us get all the low down on former Scotland Internationalist, Stacey Cook, pictured below celebrating her 50th International cap several years ago.
Full name: Stacey Cook
Nickname: Staceo or Cookie
Preferred position: Centre Midfield
Years in the game: 24
Motherwell Rovers 1994
Ayr Utd 1996
Motherwell FC – Present
Women’s A squad 1997-2007
Q) What team do you support?
I grew up a Rangers fan, I am now a Motherwell Ladies fan of course!
Q) What is your trademark phrase?
“There’s yer dinner!”
Q) What is your best sporting memory?
Achieving A-category with the National team, meaning we would take part in the World Cup and European qualification matches.
Q) Who are your favourite players?
Kim Little and Steven Gerrard
Q) It’s great to have you as part of the squad Stacey, what brought about your move to Motherwell Ladies FC?
Well to be honest, Linda Gibson (Gibby) had been texting me back and forth, I then arranged to meet Charlie and to be honest, after five minutes in the room I knew this was the team I wanted to play for. The vision and ambition of Motherwell ladies is quite incredible for a team that is only in its second season, from grass roots right through to the ladies. I also started my career back in 1994 at Motherwell Rovers so thought it quite fitting to finish my career at the mighty ‘Well.
Q) You’re obviously a very experienced player. I remember when I first started playing for Guiliano’s in the premier league (when I was young and fresh faced!) maybe 11 years ago now, you were the one to watch when it was a Hibs fixture. Who inspired you when you first came into the game?
When I first started playing I remember getting to a final with Ayr Utd, we were playing against Cumbernauld Cosmos who were made up mainly of Internationalists; I watched one player during our warm-up keep the ball up from the half way line right up to their goalkeeper, Pauline Hamill. I was later lucky enough to play alongside her at Hibs and Scotland, who to this day remains a very good friend of mine.
Q) You have achieved the highest accolade in Scottish Women’s football and one the majority of players can only dream of achieving and that is to represent your country! Tell us more…
Pulling on a Scotland jersey, walking onto the park and singing my national anthem for the very first time is something I will never forget. I have 72 caps for my country and each and every one of them will always remain one of my proudest achievements in football. Being part of the National squad took me all over the world and for a young girl from Coalburn, this allowed me to fulfil most of my ambitions in football.
Q) Its very clear to see you still have a real passion for football. What is it that still draws you to playing the beautiful game after all these years?
Still to this day, every Sunday, I wake with butterflies in my tummy, knowing that I’m playing football that day and to be honest the minute that changes I’ll know the boots are ready to be hung up. I also like a good carry-on at training when Graham and Malky are not looking!
Q) All at MLFC is sorry to hear that you are out just now with an injury, is it difficult being stuck on the sidelines and not being able to play?
I’m not a good fan to be honest as I always want to be on the park but having suffered a few injuries during my career, I know how important it is to show and give my teammates support. I only have this attitude through age, if you’d asked this in my 20s there would have been a few naughty words in this answer.
Q) I would imagine the frustration it’s made even worse being right at the start of the season, I would imagine you are kicking and heading every ball from the stands! Have you been pleased with how your team mates have been performing so far?
I’m so proud and pleased with the way the girls have performed in our first two games. 21 goals in two games is phenomenal. I’m going to have to work really hard once fit to get back into the team, which it something I am looking forward to.
Q) What is the worst injury you have suffered in your long and successful career?
I ruptured my ACL whilst playing with Hibs which put me out for 6 months. The surgeon had to take part of my hamstring out of my opposite leg to repair my cruciate. That was the toughest injury I had to overcome.
Q) Do you think the mental struggle of recovery is harder to get your head around than the physical side?
After my ACL repair I spoke to a friend who was a sports phycologist, she helped me understand that any injury is 90% mental and 10% physical. That one sentence helped me so much in my recovery process. I realised it’s not just about the wound healing, it’s everything you do right down to the food you eat, the way you think, accepting what happened and moving onto the healing process. This mind-set helped me recover quicker; I was back playing 6 month later when I was told it would be a minimum 9months.
Q) When do you hope to be back training?
I enjoyed my first road run this week and look forward to getting run number two under my belt this week also! Really hoping I will get a run out at some point on Sunday as I was really gutted to miss the start of the season.
Q) This season sees an entirely new league, playing a lot of different, but challenging opponents…which opponent do you look forward to playing the most and why? …or is there no-one you fear?
To be honest many of the teams in our league are new to me, I know any challenging team we come up against this season we are fully equipped to deal with them…. Bring it on!
Q) Okay, so your team mates past and present have let me in on a few of your secrets…in your opinion, what’s been your most embarrassing football moment?
As most of the experienced (see older) players in my team know I do love to carry on and I am usually always the one being told off for acting the clown, so I have collected a few embarrassing moments during my playing career but I’m afraid they are much too naughty to put down on paper…. Sorry!! I will just say one thing… “Mash potatoes”
Q) Tell me a secret no one knows about one of your team mates…
Ahh, see! …I am more than happy to dish the dirt on other people though! One of the funniest moments for me and embarrassing moments for her was during a World Cup qualifier. We were at our last training session before the big game and you could tell the mood in the camp was one of extreme nerves. Vera Pauw shouted us all over for one of her inspiring team talks, so we all sprinted over apart from one girl who was kneeling down…we all thought she was praying or injured. Vera kept asking; “What is she doing?” …to our astonishment we found out she was ”peeing” in the centre of the park! Haahaa, she will kill me! This girl, well woman now has just given birth to twins, so shall remain nameless! ***cough Mhari Gilmour cough***
Q) What are your hopes for the season and cup campaigns ahead?
There is no doubt in my mind that we (MLFC) are one of the strongest team in the league, so my hopes along with the rest of the girls I’m sure is to win the league and League Cup….. Plain and simple! We have had great preparation during pre-season and have started out campaign off very strongly. It’s a privilege and honour to be playing for Motherwell Ladies, so I would love to repay the coaches and Charlie by helping my team achieve these goals… “Well, Well, Super Well”
Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better Stacey! You have had an amazing career so far and we are very happy to have you here to continue it at our club! Welcome to the ‘Well Family. We wish you a lightning quick recovery and are very much looking forward to seeing you back on the pitch in the coming weeks!
This week’s league fixture sees MLFC take on Blackburn Utd this Sunday, 2pm kick off. After a horrendous act of vandalism to the ‘Well ladies home pitch in Carluke, this game will now take place at Ravenscraig on the 3G outdoor pitch. We welcome you along to watch the ladies in action.
For more info and up to date happenings at MLFC, follow me on twitter: @dibsy_