New challenge facing Inverness Caley Thistle Women
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Inverness Caledonian Thistle Women are gearing up to kick off their season at home to Westdyke for the second time this year.
The 2020 campaign was only a couple of weeks old when sport shut down in March, and a decision was quickly taken to void the season, which was then changed to a winter competition.
The Championship North fixture list is identical to the original so Westdyke – who have taken over the Cove Rangers in the meantime – will again travel to Inverness.
“It seems like a lifetime ago when that first game was played,” Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Karen Mason said.
“There have been a few changes along with Westdyke – Cove Rangers folded and Westdyke have taken a few of their players.
“It will be a different squad than we faced in February, so we won’t take them lightly.
“They’ve had a change in the coaching as well as the players, so I don’t think it will be as handsome a win as it was back then.
“We’re very much looking forward to it, given everything being so up and down and new restrictions coming in. I didn’t want to get too excited, but now that we’re a few days away I’m thinking we’re going to make it this time.”
Mason has been able to add two new faces to her squad ahead of the tie, bringing in Lorna Macrae and Orlaith McVeagh.
Numbers do not look like being an issue this season, with everyone desperate to return to action after so long away from football.
It is a good problem to have, but Mason expects her new recruits to feature at some point on Sunday.
“We’ve got a squad of about 25, which is a headache in itself for me,” she added.
“I don’t know my starting 11 or my squad, because the competition is so high.
“Lorna played for us a few years ago when we were Inverness City, so it’s really good to get her back involved. She’s still strong and powerful, she’s going to cause defences absolute mayhem, so she has been a really good addition.
“Orlaith is more of a versatile player; she plays in defence and midfield.
“She came in at a really good time as well, she’s a really good communicator and she’s confident, so they are definitely people who will be in and around the squad on Sunday.”