SWPL: Clubs to discuss introducing play-off between top two divisions

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland
Hearts' Rachel Walkingshaw competes with Hamilton's Megan Quigley
Just one point separates Hearts and Hamilton at the top of SWPL 2, but only one team can be promoted

Introducing play-offs into Scottish women's football will save teams from having nothing to play for, says Hamilton head coach Gary Doctor.

Clubs will meet with league chiefs on Saturday, and the possibility of a play-off is expected to be on the agenda.

Currently only one club is promoted and relegated between SWPL 1 and 2.

"In SWPL1, there's literally nothing to play for after the top two or three," said Doctor.

"When you look at the Premier League and you see Stirling maybe starting to struggle a little bit, the rest of the teams haven't really got much to play for.

"This league [SWPL 2] is going to go to 10 teams next year, with only one place up for grabs, so there needs to be at least a play-off if not an automatic place."

Hamilton are one of four teams separated by just a point in the battle for promotion, along with Hearts, Dundee United and Glasgow Girls.

In the top flight, Rangers, Motherwell and Spartans are comfortably clear of Stirling University but already out of the title race, leaving them little to play for.

Two teams will be added to SWPL 2 next season, though the top flight will remain at eight clubs and there are no plans to change the number of promotion and relegation spots.

"I know what they'll say," said Doctor, whose side went top of SWPL 2 on Wednesday with a 3-0 win over Glasgow Girls. "Relegating 25% of the league above is quite cut-throat, but I think maybe needs to be something to keep things alive and keep things going.

"You saw last year, Motherwell ran away with it [SWPL 2] and had it won by August."

Spartans win award for first time

Michael McAlonie receives her award from Scottish Building Society's Robyn Emerson
Michael McAlonie receives her award from Scottish Building Society's Robyn Emerson

Defender Michaela McAlonie has become the first Spartans player to win the SWPL player of the month award.

The 17-year-old helped her side concede just three goals in three games in April, and also netted direct from a free-kick in their 2-0 win away to Forfar Farmington.

"I was nominated last season and, while it was great to be nominated, you always want to win this award," said McAlonie.

"We're harder to beat and we're winning games that I'd expect us to get three points in. We're not going to be complacent but we're looking up the table, not down."

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