Caley Thistle Women have bolstered their midfield options with a new signing and a player stepping up from the club’s development team.
Manager Karen Mason has added ex-Westdyke player Lauren Donald ahead of Scottish Women’s Football Championship North season, while Laura MacIver has earned a place in the senior squad, having shown up well for the team which competes in the Highlands and Islands League.
Mason was delighted to bolster an area of the team which needed strengthened.
She said: “We have signed Lauren, who is a former Westdyke player. She came through the Aberdeen youth set-up and has just moved through to Elgin with her work. She has trained with us in the last few weeks and we’ve been impressed with her, so I’m delighted to get her signed up.
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“One of our players from the development squad, Laura MacIver, has moved over to join us.
“She has performing really well in training, so she will come into our squad and give us more options and give us a bit more depth in central midfield while we wait for Julia Scott and Katie Clelland to get back to fitness. We will always be keeping our eyes open for more players as well as the weeks go on.”
Fitness lessons after defeat to Dons
On Sunday, the Inverness side fell to a 6-2 friendly defeat against a strong Aberdeen under-19 team at Keith.
Mason felt lessons were learned in terms of the physical gaps between their opponents and the need to take their chances.
She said: “In the first half, we played some of the best football we have played going forward. We limited their chances, although our keeper was still the busier.
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“We were not as clinical as we could have been in the final third. A lot of our passes were overhit and our crosses were not reaching the players they were intended to.
“Kirsty Deans scored a cracking goal and Aberdeen scored a cracker too, so it was really pleasing to go in level at half-time. It was really positive.
“We made a wee change as Jana Brady was struggling with blisters, so she had to come off.
“We just didn’t get started at all in the second half and they were a lot fitter and sharper and they punished us for almost any mistake that we made.
“Heads went down in the second half and we were a bit more reluctant to get on the ball and that cost us.
“So, what we take from that second half is that our fitness needs to be improved across the board if we want to compete at the higher level.
“That was evident and the players were able to see that themselves, so although there’s just under two weeks to go, there’s still plenty of work to be done in that area, which they can all do in their own time.
“There’s only so much you can do within three hours with the squad, so it is over to the players to get themselves fitter off the pitch.”
The squad will be getting together on Sunday ahead of two sessions next week as Mason gets ready for the league opener away to East Fife on August 15.
There was good news ahead of the new season when ICT received a bye into round two of the Championship Cup, which means they will join the competition on September 19.
ICT development team rout their opponents again
Meanwhile, in the Highlands and Islands League at the weekend, Caley Thistle’s development team thumped Nairn St Ninian 11-2 at Inverness Royal Academy.
As they took their goal tally to 53 in just three fixtures, the star of the show was Rhea Hossack, who netted five times.
Elsewhere, Sutherland suffered their first defeat as they went down 7-4 at home to Buckie Ladies, Caithness won 10-2 at Kirkwall City, while Orkney and visitors Brora Rangers shared six goals.
This Sunday, it’s the quarter-finals of the Highlands and Islands Cup, with the following ties: Brora Rangers v Clach, Buckie Ladies v Sutherland, Caithness v Orkney, and Inverness CT v Nairn.
The next league fixtures, on August 15, are: Brora Rangers v Kirkwall City, Caithness v Caley Thistle and Clach v Sutherland.