A return to the top tier will be the objective for Aberdeen FC Women when they begin their Scottish Building Society SWPL 2 campaign this month.
The Dons were due to play their first game of the 2020 season yesterday, but Storm Ciara forced the postponement of their SWPL League Cup match against Stirling University.
They will hope for better weather when they take on Hearts Women at Cormack Park in their second group game on Sunday, but the outlook for the season is certainly bright and sunny.
The Jambos secured promotion to SWPL 1 last term and will be a tough test, but Emma Hunter’s side should head into the match and the season with plenty of confidence.
The Dons are working their way back to the top table of women’s football after a challenging couple of years.
They suffered successive relegations in 2017 and 2018 to drop from SWPL 1 to the third tier before formalising their relationship with Aberdeen FC in November 2018.
Since then the club has been on a steep upward trajectory under the leadership of Hunter and Harley Hamdani, winning the Division One North title without losing a single game.
Hamdani won’t be in the dugout as the journey back to SWPL 1 continues. He has stepped down after emigrating to Australia.
But the Dons have made some impressive additions to their squad in preparation for a more demanding season.
Amy Strath, who has experience of playing in America and Iceland, and former Dundee United right-back Jenna Penman will provide some added quality in defence, while Beth McPherson has returned to the club after a spell with Forfar Farmington.
The Dons also boast some very exciting young players in their squad. Scotland under-17 international Bayley Hutchison, who scored 38 goals in 26 games last season, and Eilidh Shore, who chipped in with 22 strikes from midfield, should have no problems adapting to life in SWPL 2.
The Dons begin the SWPL 2 season on February 23 with the visit of Kilmarnock to Cormack Park. The sides met last term in the Scottish Cup with the Dons winning 3-1.
Women’s football in Scotland is undergoing major transformation and is expected to go from strength to strength in the coming years.
Glasgow City have enjoyed a monopoly after winning 13 successive SWPL 1 titles, but Celtic and Rangers are beginning to plough serious resources into their squads in a bid to close the gap.
The Hoops named Fran Alonso, who was Ronald Koeman’s assistant at Everton, as their new coach, after announcing they would go professional with immediate effect.
The Gers have also made a raft of signings after going professional in December and it will be intriguing to see how Glasgow City respond.
It would be great to see Aberdeen lay claim to a professional women’s team.