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Womens Premiership


20 Oct 2020

Sion Swifts captain Tasmin McCarter insists the club are still dreaming of winning the Danske Bank Women’s Premiership this season.

The Strabane-based side have never lifted the title and missed out last season to Linfield on goal difference only, but plan to go one better this time.

“It would be an incredible experience to win it,” McCarter explained.

“The way it went down to the wire last season and us missing out in that manner was really tough to take, coming that close but not lifting the title.

“It really did not feel fair at the time but that was how it was, and we need to use that motivation and determination of just missing out to drive us on.

“Our supporters are great week in week out - obviously that could not be the case this season with events - so it would mean so much to everyone involved and who has stuck with us.

“It would be a huge moment for the club and for the entire area of Strabane.”

McCarter was instilled as captain for Sion following Kendra McMullan’s retirement last season and is closing in on a decade of service for the club, being one of the few constants in an era of change at Sion.

“I’m one of only four players to remain from last season,” the 28-year-old continued.

“It takes time to gel with such an overturn of players, especially as this is a shortened league season.

“This club has always been about development and we have risen through the leagues in recent years with a winning mentality and to mix it in the top-flight.

“We have seen a lot of players come and go, and a lot of players go over to England in that time - it’s great to see the club can maintain the success with those quality players moving on.”

Whilst a lot of attention has been cast towards McGuinness sisters Kirsty and Caitlin - the two Northern Ireland internationals arrived from Linfield this summer - McCarter explained that there is plenty more talent in the ranks.

“The importance of those two is naturally huge, but we are a lot more than that,” she added.

“I am the easily one of the oldest players here, and I’m only 28! It is a very young squad without a lot of experience, but lots and lots of quality.

“We have always focused on giving young players a chance and the players coming through the chance to compete at this level.

“We lost so many players in the past year and their know-how and level has been really important for us, especially with the goals they add.”

Sion have won each of their last three games since an early season loss at Crusaders, scoring 18 goals in the process, before their campaign was interrupted.

“It’s really tough at the moment, because the players just can’t be sure of when the next game is or who the opponents will be - it’s difficult to prepare,” said McCarter.

“We haven’t had a game in about a month now and it won’t be until next month that we are back on the pitch, so it’s a lengthy enough period of time.

“You need to keep yourself ticking over both physically and mentally to be as sharp as possible.

“We haven’t been able to train as much with the situation in Strabane and being in a bit of a lockdown.

“We were in a good run of form, then you’re just stopped in your tracks.

“It might be difficult to pick that momentum up again after such a break, but we need to prepare as best we can.”