Suzanne Winters: Motherwell Ladies can stun Hibs in cup final

Suzanne Winters (left) presented Mum of the Year award to Claire Kidd at last weeks Scottish FA Grassroots Football Awards at Hampden
Suzanne Winters (left) presented Mum of the Year award to Claire Kidd at last weeks Scottish FA Grassroots Football Awards at Hampden

Former Motherwell Ladies FC ace Suzanne Winters reckons the Women of Steel’s current crop can upset the odds and land silverware this Sunday.

Ex-striker Suzanne (34), who starred for ’Well between 2015 and 2017,thinks the SWPL 2 champions can beat top flight Hibernian Ladies – another of her former clubs – in the SSE Scottish Cup final at Firhill.

“It’s not unrealistic to think that Motherwell can win the final,” Suzanne told the Motherwell Times.

“They beat a top flight team in Spartans to get to the final and they are there for a reason.

“The majority of the girls at Motherwell have experience of playing in the Premier League earlier in their careers.

“They are not going to be nervous.

“Hibs will be favourites – they’ve just missed out on winning SWPL 1 to Glasgow City – but anything can happen in a cup final.

“I think it will be a great game. There is no pressure on Motherwell, the pressure is on Hibs as they are favourites.

“Motherwell need to relax, enjoy it and see who the better team is on the day.

“I can’t go to it as I’ll be at my sister-in-law’s wedding, but I will record it and watch it another time.”

Suzanne, who made 104 Scotland appearances between 2000 and 2013, joined then third tier side Motherwell from top flight Celtic three years ago due to the demands of motherhood.

She explained: “I was training five nights a week at Celtic and taking my baby son Oscar in the car to Lennoxtown.

“My husband David – an ex-Dundee United player now starring for BSC Glasgow – was playing football on a Saturday and then I was playing on a Sunday.

“Although I got into a routine, I didn’t think it was fair dragging Oscar to training between 8 and 10 at night.

“At that time I thought I couldn’t commit to training every night of the week, and I latterly wasn’t getting game time at Celtic so I joined Motherwell and dropped two nights of training a week.

“It was a no brainer for me to sign for them after five months out of football.

“I dusted down the cobwebs and managed to score 11 goals in my first game for Motherwell!

“It was a great feeling – one which I had missed – and everybody was absolutely buzzing.”

Women’s football in this country is gaining in media exposure all the time, something enhanced even more by Scotland women’s qualification for next summer’s World Cup in France.

“It is the first time Scotland has ever qualified and I think we have a massive chance,” Suzanne said.

“In the past it was very hard for us going in against the top nations like Germany and France who were training full time, while our players were working around college, kids and work.

“It will be really exciting to see who Scotland get in December’s draw.

“The manager Shelley Kerr (pictured inset) is fantastic, she is doing a great job.

“I played with her for Scotland and Hibs, and she managed me at Hibs before I moved to Arsenal. She is a great manager and a great person.

“I think Scotland can go far. Reaching the quarter-finals is the target, while getting to the semis or final would be a bonus.”