IT WAS an evening to remember for one particular family at a trophy-laden awards evening for Hearts Women and Girls football club.
Dad and daughter, Colin and Jenna McDonald, could hardly have picked up any more silverware at a ceremony that was a celebration of two divisional titles, two League Cups and one Scottish final appearance by the club’s five teams, from under-13s to ladies.
Colin McDonald – a former Falkirk FC striker – was named the winner of a special achievement award, bearing the name of a local, East Lothian councillor who has been supportive of the club since its formation in August three years ago.
Head coach of the club’s under-13 ‘A’ team, McDonald talked of several of his players destined for the ladies team and international honours.
He said: “It’s great to be involved at the early age group, to be part of developing good habits among the players. There is a huge amount of talent and some of our players have definitely got what it takes to reach the top. With a wee bit of luck and if they knuckle down, I don’t see why at least a couple of them could not be playing for Scotland one day.”
And meanwhile, his daughter, Jenna, was named Coaches’ Player of the Year for the under-15s, which she captains and which finished fourth in their divisional league.
The evening – which saw Scots internationals, Ifeoma Dieke and Hayley Lauder, help hand out the prizes – saw special mention made of the under-13s and the ladies, both winners of their divisional league titles plus their divisional League Cups.
In addition, the under-13s reached the final of their Scottish Cup, while the ladies – now promoted to the second-top tier of Scottish women’s football, the First Division – were crowned ‘champion of champions’ after winning a play-off competition among their fellow divisional title winners.
Hearts Women and Girls mainly operate out of Tranent, East Lothian.
Among the prizes were silver plates specifically for the team captains, donated by parent and occasional coach, Ian Dixon. And making an appearance during the evening were Hearts FC brothers, Ryan and Dylan McGowan.
Said club chair, Margaret Milne: “It’s been a remarkable season; both on and off the park. I’d like to pay particular thanks to our coaches, our other volunteers and our sponsors. Parents too, for their support. But our awards night was mostly about the players, who deserve great credit for what they have achieved.
“Our ‘player pathway’ has been a contributing factor to our success, and, as we go into season 2013, we hope to extend this even further.”
Coaches: Ryan Grant (coach), Liz Phillipson (head coach)
Captain: Ruth Quill
League and position finished: South-east region Hayley Lauder League: Sixth
South-east region League Cup: Did not take part
Scottish Cup: Did not take part
Players’ Player of the Year: Rachel Smith
Coaches’ Players of the Year: Ruth Quill
Coaches: Colin McDonald (head coach), Scott Wood (assistant head coach)
Captain: Megan Kerr
League and position finished: South-east region Kim Little League: Winners
South-east region League Cup: Winners
Scottish Cup: Finalists
Players’ Player of the Year: Megan Kerr
Coaches’ Players of the Year: Emma McLeary
Coaches: Bernie Brown (coach), Jim Drummond (goalkeeping coach), Graham Hall (head coach), Mark Hill (coach), Josh Kinnear (coach)
Captain: Jenna McDonald
League and position finished: South-east region: Fourth
South-east region League Cup: Semi-final
Scottish Cup: Second round
Players’ Player of the Year: Lisa Thomson
Coaches’ Player of the Year: Jenna McDonald
Coaches: Kenny Hampshire (coach), Charles Pearce (head coach), Andy Waddell (coach)
Captain: Gemma Mason
League and position finished: South-east and East region: Third
South-east and East League Cup: Second round
Scottish Cup: Quarter-final
Players’ Player of the Year: Nadean Henderson
Coaches’ Player of the Year: Gemma Mason
Coaches: David Meldrum (coach), Kevin Milne (assistant head coach), Tam Milne (head coach), Carol Ann Watters (coach)
Captain: Megan Paterson
League and position finished: South-east Scotland Division Two: Winners
Division Two League Cup: Winners
Scottish Cup: Second Round
Players’ Player of the Year: Lauren Fraser
Coaches’ Player of the Year: Lynsay Anderson
Councillor Andrew Forrest Shield for special achievement: Colin McDonald
Contact: Mike Wilson