Part 2 of Women’s Soccer United’s interview with Glasgow City Ladies manager Eddie Wolecki Black
In part one, the City boss revealed his side would play two games against English opposition during the mid-season break and two league games, before they head off to Serbia for three Women’s Champions League qualifiers.
He added: “If you look at some of their players [Leeds United and Sunderland], they’re now playing in the Women’s Super League. The Doncaster [Rovers Belles] game is tied up, that’s at Doncaster, but we don’t know the venue yet; we just have to tie up the second one. We don’t know if it’s going to be home or away yet.”
Belles boss John Buckley told Women’s Soccer United in May that his side need a goalscorer after finding the back of the net just four times in their opening eight WSL games, but while City have scored an impressive 65 goals in their first 10 games in the Scottish Women’s Premier League, Wolecki Black doesn’t expect any of his players to be making the move to South Yorkshire.
“I’ve got a good relationship with John, and he’s already asked me about players up here, and I’ve said to him ‘no’,” he said. “But the big key for us is the likes of the Champions League is a big pull for us.”
Having won the SWPL for the last four years, beating many teams along the way in devastating fashion, and certainly having the team to continue that in the coming years, despite other teams also getting stronger, it is possible that Glasgow City will outgrow the SWPL in the way that some consider Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers to have outgrown the Scottish Premier League.
With The FA looking at the possibility of expanding the WSL in 2013, and the prospect of as many as four new teams moving into the league, it would surely be the perfect opportunity for City to seek a new, more competitive challenge?
“I’ll tell you something, we’ve already looked into it,” Wolecki Black said.
“I actually went down to an Everton Ladies Champions League game [last season], and met up with one or two people who were instrumental in putting the WSL together, but I think The FA fund so much money, and I’m not too sure they would fund a Scottish team to go in, but the SFA wouldn’t be too keen to lose us either.”
Pressed if he would like the club to move to England, the City boss said it wasn’t his decision to make, but he knows his side can compete with the WSL clubs.
“To be honest I couldn’t answer on behalf of the club, but I know it would be good, and I know we could compete, because we’ve played them all over the last couple of seasons.
“We flew down to Chelsea and played there, it ended up 0-0, but we were the better side, although Chelsea are a good side. Then we played Doncaster and Liverpool up here, and saw both of them off 2-0 and 3-0].”
Responding to a quip that Liverpool had subsequently swiped several City players, Wolecki Black replied: “Yeah, they took three of our players [Ruesha Littlejohn, Suzanne Lapin and Megan Sneddon], but to be fair, in hindsight, it turned out to be a good thing, because we were changing our style of play, and it suits the players we have now more than the players we had then, so we had to adapt to what we had.”
The British Olympics Association recently announced “an historic agreement” with the English FA to have a Great Britain team compete at the London 2012 Olympics, despite vehement opposition from the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish football associations.
The BOA has said that players from all four nations will be considered with a view to making the 18-player squad if they choose to make themselves available, and it puts some players in a difficult position whether to go for the once in a lifetime opportunity in defiance of their FA and risk never again being selected for their country, or playing it safe and watching from the stands or on TV.
The Scottish Football Association has already conceded that legally it cannot stop its players from playing for Team GB, but there have been murmurings of repercussions should any members of the national team go against the SFA’s wishes.
Asked for his thoughts on the situation, he said: “I personally know that our players have been told, not that they’d play, but that it wouldn’t be in their best interests to, so I don’t think any Scottish players will play [for Team GB].”
Asked if that included Scottish players at other clubs, including Arsenal Ladies youngsters Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie who are thought to be among those who could make the Team GB squad, the response was the same.
“What I do know is that the SFA have said they won’t stop anyone from playing, but they have to bear in mind the consequences, or potential consequences [if they do],” he added.
Despite the SFA’s standpoint on the issue, Wolecki Black believes that having a Team GB is not an issue, and the girls should be allowed to play at the Olympics, if selected.
“I don’t see it being a potential problem, as long as you can keep the identity of your own country,” he continued. “I think that’s the main thing, and why should you not people the opportunity to play in one of the greatest events in the sporting world?”
As the Women’s World Cup gets under way in Germany, the City coach will be watching from afar as he heads off on a holiday before the preparation begins for the second half of the SWPL season, and those important Champions League qualifying games.