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Aberdeen Women finishing fifth provides a platform to build on for next season, says co-manager Gavin Beith

Aberdeen Women co-managers Gavin Beith and Emma Hunter.
Aberdeen Women co-managers Gavin Beith and Emma Hunter.

Aberdeen Women co-manager Gavin Beith says that a fifth-place finish in SWPL 1 is a platform to build on – but the Dons won’t be getting ahead of themselves.

Despite Wednesday’s 4-1 defeat to Glasgow City, Aberdeen were confirmed as SWPL 1’s fifth-placed side, with a game to spare, after Spartans failed to win at Partick Thistle.

It’s an impressive return for their first season back in the top flight, after successive promotions, and co-manager Beith has hailed it as an ‘incredible’ achievement.

“It was one of our objectives at the start of the season,” Beith explained.

“We knew it was going to be really difficult, but, to get there with a game in hand, it’s an incredible achievement.

“The girls are really chuffed, and it’s a great achievement for everyone after coming back into this league after a few years away.

“It’s something to build on for next season, but it’s a big step to go and jump into fourth or higher.

“We just need to make sure we continue to improve and hopefully we can go and give the same kind of account of ourselves next season.”

In Aberdeen Women’s first season back in SWPL 1, they have secured a fifth-place finish.

Aberdeen’s season was always going to be determined by how they performed against the teams outside of the top-four, and 26 out of their 29 points came against those sides.

The Dons recorded three wins against both Hamilton and Partick Thistle, two draws with Spartans, a win against Hearts, and currently have one win over Motherwell, who they meet in the final game of the season on Sunday.

Beith added: “If you take away the top-four, the other teams are in the same kind of boat as us.

“We’re delighted to come on top of that ‘league’ – every other team would have wanted to finish fifth.

“We know that the teams above us are a step above, but we know that everyone else on their day can give any team a really good game.

“Our objective was making sure we can be the best of the rest. We’ve managed to do that.”

Consolidating this season’s success

Despite moving to semi-professional status, Beith knows it would still be a big ask to try to aim for fourth next season.

As of next season, there could be four full-time teams, with Hibs likely going professional, and – like Aberdeen – Hearts have also moved to semi-professional football.

The Dons co-manager believes his side’s main priority next season – which will see the elite women’s game move under SPFL control – will be to consolidate the success from this term.

“You always want to be looking above and improving on where you’ve been, but at the same time, we have to be realistic,” he added.


“We’re in the first phase of moving towards that semi-professional and professional environment. We need to see how we deal with that next year and keep building on it.

“It’s only been one season, so was it just luck? It definitely wasn’t in our eyes – but if you don’t go and back it up, then people might start asking questions.

“We do want to chase the teams above us, but we need to consolidate and ensure that we can sustain fifth spot first.”

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