Today’s game (on the back pitch, kick-off 2pm) has the added incentive of being a Glasgow versus Edinburgh encounter because Hillhead Jordanhill are playing Murrayfield Wanderers for the title. Both teams have won ten of their 11 matches to date and just one point separates them at the top of the BT women’s premier league.
“Hilljills” boast Scotland’s only female professional, Jade Konkel, a grade three academy player, who recently returned to the middle of the team’s back row after missing much of the season with a shoulder injury. Needless to say she backs her own side.
“I have every faith in Hilljills,” insists the No.8, “but if you look at recent results it is going to be a really close match. The winner will be the team that wants it more on the day and is willing to put their bodies on the line.”
Although the only pro in the village, so to speak, Konkel’s long injury lay-off means the team is led by fellow breakaway Louise McMillan who is just 19 years old and must be doing something right.
Konkel – the name courtesy of a German grandfather – missed the recent back-to-back matches against Spain which ended Scotland’s dream of a place in this year’s women’s World Cup.
She trains alongside the boys in the academy system. It may seem odd but she assures me that everyone, whether in the gym or on the training paddock, shares the same goal.
“When we are training together, everyone has the same goal in mind, to play with that thistle on their chest. It may even help me a little that the boys are a bit bigger than I am. I can whack the tackle bags full bore and if I can take some of that intensity back to the women’s game it should definitely help.”