Caley Thistle manager Karen Mason hopes her players will rise to the occasion when they play their first fixture at Caledonian Stadium against Grampian on Sunday.
Inverness’ women’s side will play their first fixture at the home of the men’s team, having originally been scheduled to do so for a match against Dryburgh Athletic which was called off earlier in the campaign.
A number of Mason’s players have grown up attending men’s team matches at the stadium, and she hopes the experience can have an inspirational effect on their performance in the Championship North encounter.
🗣️ @ICTWFC Manager Karen Mason and ICTWFC's Natalie Bodiam give their thoughts ahead of this Sunday's match against Grampian
ICTWFC play their first ever match at the Caledonian Stadium this Sunday, 2pm kick-off. Entry is free. pic.twitter.com/DBcd9KfC6s
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) September 23, 2021
Mason said: “We had a bit of a false start when we were meant to be playing Dryburgh Athletic there a few weeks ago. There was a really good build up to that week, then it got called off.
“The fact they’ve given us the opportunity to do it again has really boosted the spirits.
“That’s something we are needing at the moment with some below-par performances.
“We have a few players who go and watch the men’s team on a Saturday.
“One of them especially, Becky Dingwall, remembers walking out with Ross Tokely as mascot back in the day. It will be special for the likes of her who has been a lifelong fan, now getting the opportunity to step on to the pitch herself will be something for her to treasure.”
Mason hopes playing at Caledonian Stadium can become a more regular occurrence, adding: “We have another opportunity in March with the way home fixtures work out. It’s nice to have that stadium to play at and have that to look forward to.
“Hopefully the supporters will get a nice experience when they come to watch the game.”
Caley Jags go into the match three points behind their fifth-placed opponents, who they will leapfrog on goal difference with a victory.
Mason, who has a fully fit squad, is aiming to kick start her side’s season after they fell to a 4-3 defeat to Falkirk in the Championship Cup last weekend.
She added: “The recent performances have shown we have a lot more to work on than we might have originally thought.
“Taking one game at a time now has got to be our focus, we just have to play what’s in front of us.
“That will start against Grampian. Hopefully we can get a performance together and more importantly get the three points to get us up and running in the league.”