Aberdeen Women manager Clint Lancaster has congratulated captain Nadine Hanssen, who is expecting her second child.
Last week, the club announced Hanssen, 30, is due next year. She already shares son Romeo with partner Kelle Roos, who is the Aberdeen men’s team’s goalkeeper.
Midfielder Hanssen will now miss the rest of the SWPL season – but Lancaster confirmed she is currently still able to take part in non-contact training sessions with the team.
Lancaster said: “It’s great news. When Nadine told me a little while ago, I was really delighted for her, Kelle, their little boy and their family.
“There are some things that more important than football and there is nothing more important than family.
“Nadine is done for the season now.
“Her last game was going to be against Partick Thistle, so it is a shame it got cancelled (due to Storm Babet), because then she would have had the chance to play against every team once this season.”
Thanks to my team and staff for the amazing support 🙏🏼 https://t.co/ONm101e3Sw
— Nadine Hanssen (@nadinehanssen) October 28, 2023
Hanssen a big loss, but Lancaster backs others to step up
Hanssen is Aberdeen’s most experienced player having previously turned out in the FA WSL for Aston Villa and at the highest level in her homeland the Netherlands and Belgium.
Lancaster admits the skipper will be a big loss, but has backed other players in his squad to step up in her absence.
He said: “It is a loss for us because we’re losing our captain and our most experienced player, but we’ve got players that will have to step up.
“I’m sure they will do that and I’m happy with the group that I have got. Everybody has been working hard in training and I can’t fault their efforts.
“We have been trying different things and players have been taking on new roles because we have to adapt.”
Hanssen, the Dons boss says, will continue to play an important role as the club captain as she will continue to attend training.
The midfielder has been able to lean on the experiences of her first pregnancy – returning to playing when she first signed for Aberdeen less than a year after giving birth to her son in December 2021.
Lancaster said: “I’ve had experience with this before. When I was at Watford one of my players – Sarah Wiltshire – was pregnant and she was able to stay in training.
“Nadine has been able to do non-contact and she is always invited down to training. She can do whatever she wants to do and what she feels comfortable doing.
“She is an important person to have around the group and is still our club captain, so will play a massive part for us this season just being around the team, hopefully, at training and at games.
“She has been through this before and knows her body better than anybody.
“It is no problem for her to continue doing what she is currently doing at training with us.”