The fixtures for the 2019 Scottish Women’s Football National Performance League (NPL) season have been announced. After a successful inaugural year, the NPL will continue to have U19’s & U15’s age groups and has been expanded from 15 to 18 teams. 2019 will see two nine-team leagues with three additional teams joining the U19’s age group and two new sides entering the U15’s age group.
2019 has also seen the introduction of entry criteria, which is aimed at helping to develop the best young players in the country. This criteria focuses on the quality of coaches, the quality & frequency of training, team performance, and player performance (Regional / National). The full critera can be viewed by clicking here.
The new season for U15’s starts on Saturday 2nd March and will conclude on Saturday 9th November while the U19’s season will begin on Sunday 10th March and finish on Sunday 10th November.
The first set of fixtures have thrown up a number of intriguing ties. In the U15’s league, Glasgow City will host Hibernian. The two sides met on the final day of the 2018 season, with Hibernian coming out 2-1 victors. That win meant the Edinburgh side finished above Glasgow City by two points. Lanarkshire Hibs, new to the league, will host FC Kilmarnock while there is an Edinburgh derby as Boroughmuir Thistle, who finished seventh in 2018, face Heart of Midlothian who claimed fifth. The final tie sees reigning champions Celtic at home to Bayside. The other new side to the league, Glasgow Girls, have a free week but will host Bayside the following Sunday.
In the U19’s league, there’s a Glasgow derby as Glasgow City host new side, Glasgow Girls. Another new side, Aberdeen, face a tough first outing as they travel south to face 2018 runners-up, Hibernian. The final new side to the league, Jeanfield Swifts, have a home tie to Rangers who finished bottom in 2018. The last tie of the weekend is between Hamilton Academical and Heart of Midlothian, two sides who were separated by just six points last season. Celtic, the 2018 Champions, have a free weekend but will face Hamilton Academical on Sunday 17th March.