Scottish Building Society SWPL & Championship Fixtures Announced
The fixtures for the new 2020/2021 Scottish Building Society Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) and Championship season have been announced.
The league format remains unchanged, with eight SWPL 1 teams playing each other three times to complete the 21-match league campaign. Ten SWPL 2 teams will also play each other three times to complete a 27-match league calendar. The league campaigns will kick off on Sunday 18th October and conclude on Sunday 2nd May.
The opening fixtures have thrown up some interesting ties with Celtic hosting champions Glasgow City in a re-match following their encounter back in March which ended up being the last competitive fixture for both sides before the season was shut down. Promoted Hearts face a tough opening away day against a Rangers side bolstered by a number of new signings. It’s an Edinburgh derby for Hibernian and Spartans at Ainslie Park with Hibernian’s new manager Dean Gibson looking to improve on last year’s second place finish. Motherwell, under Eddie Wolecki Black for the second time, travel to Forfar to face last year’s 7th placed side in SWPL 1.
In the SWPL 2, newly promoted Aberdeen are at home to a Kilmarnock side who will be targeting league success and promotion to SWPL 1, whilst fellow promoted side Boroughmuir Thistle have a tough opening tie away at Dundee United. Hamilton will undoubtedly look for promotion this season having narrowly missed out to Hearts in the last campaign and they face a tough opening tie hosting last year’s SWPL 1 relegated side Stirling University who will be keen to bounce straight back to the top tier. There’s a Glasgow derby with Glasgow Girls taking the short trip to take on Partick Thistle and Queens Park travel to St Johnston in the final opening day fixture.
Kerra McKinnie, Marketing Director at Scottish Building Society, said: “We are proud to have supported Scottish Women’s Football throughout lockdown. There have been a number of significant signings throughout the SWPL and we’re looking forward to see them all in action in what’s shaping up to be a really competitive season.”
Scottish Women’s Football Chair, Vivienne MacLaren, said: “Today’s fixture announcement is the result of months of consultation with member clubs and key stakeholders and we’re extremely proud to have reached this point and to have agreed a positive way forward through difficult circumstances. There was significant interest in the women’s game prior to lockdown and we anticipate that this momentum will continue. I believe we will see an incredibly competitive and exciting season across both the SWPL and the Championship”.
The Championship was prepared to embark on its inaugural season prior to lockdown and was the result of SWF’s recent senior competition restructure. Split into 2 regional divisions, North and South, the 26 teams that were accepted into the Championship at the start of the year will compete for the 2020/2021 title and aim for promotion into SWPL 2. The North league is made up of 12 teams who will play each other twice over a 22 game season with the South League containing 14 teams, also playing each other twice over a 26 game calendar.
In the Championship North, Inverness Caledonian Thistle will be eager for promotion and start their league campaign at home to Aberdeen based, Westdyke and newly formed Grampian take on Cove Rangers in a local derby. In the Championship South, Livingston will kick off their first competitive season at the Toni Macaroni Arena against Edinburgh City and Edinburgh Caledonia, champions of their Division Two league last season will take on Ayr United.
“The opening rounds provide some interesting ties” said MacLaren. “Our enhanced broadcast agreement with BBC ALBA means we’ll have more broadcast coverage coupled with weekly live streams on BBC Scotland online. We’ve worked hard with key stakeholders to improve visibility of the game as this campaign is shaping up to be one of the best yet. We’d like to thank all member clubs for their engagement in our consultation process and wish them all the very best of luck for the season ahead.”