Glasgow City driven to end six-year SWPL Cup drought against Celtic

It's almost unthinkable for Glasgow City not to have had their hands on the SWPL Cup since 2015.

Glasgow City's Hayley Lauder and Rangers Rachel McGlaughlin during a SWPL match between Glasgow City and Rangers.
Glasgow City's Hayley Lauder and Rangers Rachel McGlaughlin during a SWPL match between Glasgow City and Rangers.

However, the 15-time league champions have a prime opportunity to put that right at Firhill this afternoon.

City lost in the 2016 and 2019 finals to Hibernian Women, whose four-year reign as cup holders is over following defeat in the semi-final to this weekend’s other finalists, Celtic.

Midfielder Hayley Lauder has been an integral part of the furniture at Glasgow City since joining from Swedish side Vittsjo GIK in December 2014 and is ready to add another winners' medal to her vast collection.

"Cups are always a bit different to the league as they are one-off games," the 31-year-old explained. "There were no cups last year because of Covid. We've not won this cup since 2015 so we want to right that wrong. We've got to credit Hibs for that as they were dominant in this competition for so many years. We never shy away from the fact that if we made the final, we were desperate to win it but it just wasn't to be.

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"When you're a Glasgow City player, reaching cup finals and winning trophies is the demand we put on ourselves. So, it's great we've put ourselves in that position again and that we have a great chance to lift another trophy this weekend.

"Hibs and Glasgow City have been the trailblazers over the years in the women's game in Scotland but we're now seeing much more competitiveness across the board with the investment at clubs like Celtic and Rangers.

"Tomorrow will be a really tough game - we know that. We were 2-0 up at half-time in the league game in September and came away with a draw. It's a cup final, there is a lot on the line, but we've prepared well this week with our analysis so hopefully we can take that into the game."

Tomorrow also represents new City boss Eileen Gleeson's first cup final at the helm and Lauder has been impressed with what she has brought to the table so far.

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"It's been great and has been a really easy transition so far," said Lauder, who has over 100 caps for Scotland. "She's got a lot of ideas and maybe doesn't want to change too much initially, but she's brought in a real freshness and the girls have really taken to her. I think it's a really positive move going forward.

"We obviously want to win every cup final we play in but for her to come into the club and have that opportunity straight away, I'm sure there will be nothing better if she gets her hands on the trophy."

Meanwhile, Celtic boss Fran Alonso, pictured inset, is desperate to secure his first piece of silverware since joining the Glasgow side in January 2020.

The Spaniard said: "This has been the longest week of the season and we just want Sunday to come. Already being in the final is a massive achievement and it’s all about getting the experience together and if we manage to win, then that would be an unbelievable feeling."

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Today’s final at Partick Thistle’s ground kicks off at 4.10pm and will be broadcast live on BBC Alba and available to stream via the iPlayer app. Coverage begins at 4pm with commentary from Alex O’Henley and former Scotland international Suzanne Lappin.

Tickets for the showpiece match are available at the gate, priced £8 and £2. A fanzone will also be in operation pre-match at Firhill from 2pm, when supporters will be given the opportunity for a meet andgreet with former players of each side – Jo Love (City) and Natalie Ross (Celtic).