It has been a busy week in the SWPL as Celtic and Rangers lead the way in terms of transfer business as they seek to do some early work in the window.

By the time that Celtic announced Bruna Lourenco this week, she had become the fifth summer signing made by Elena Sadiku. The Swede has also gone back to her former club to sign Danish twin sisters Signe and Mathilde Carstens on two-year deals. 

Rangers announced the signing of Northern Ireland defender Laura Rafferty after the 28-year-old revealed it took just one phone call from Jo Potter to persuade her that a move north was the correct next step on her career path. Rafferty is the third signing of the summer so far for the Ibrox side.

Glasgow City have retained the services of Claire Walsh while seeing Carlee Giammona off to Tampa Bay Sun but there is a feeling of a familiar pattern from the men’s game crossing over into the SWPL across this campaign. 

Celtic have also secured the signature of Shannon McGregor from Hibs, Rangers have signed Leah Eddie, an exciting young Scottish talent as they seek to bolster their squad. Potter has lost the hugely influential Rachel Rowe who will head back down south after a season in which she was head and shoulders above anyone else in the league.

The Welsh internationalist also successfully ruffled a few feathers when she made an impassioned plea about the lack of spectators turning out for games in the aftermath of a Scottish Gas, Women’s Scottish Cup semi-final between Rangers and Celtic in which there were just over 3000 fans inside Hampden.

It is a pity that she has opted to return south of the border since both her quality and opinions were a strong addition to the league.

But, key to the movement these last few weeks, is that Celtic and Rangers are both building from positions of strength. Celtic as title winners after their first ever championship and Rangers as League Cup and Scottish Cup winners. That Potter’s side lost the title on goal difference would highlight the fact there is very little between the two teams in terms of quality.

This window will be interesting, too, as it is represents the first time that Sadiku has the opportunity to put her own stamp on a team that was assembled by Fran Alonso. Sadiku changed shape when she first arrived at the club in January before swiftly reverting back to the tried and tested after senior players had intervened.

It was notable in among the post-title winning chat that she was eager to move things away from the Alonso era. Just what that might mean this summer is already offering a source of intrigue.

The departure of Shen Mengyu and Shen Menglu were announced at the end of the week to offer further indication that this will be a new broom sweeping clean. 

What this means for everyone else in the league is of interest. This season was the first time since 2001 that neither City nor Hibs were involved in the Scottish Cup once it got to the semi-final stage.

City finished third in the league, nine points behind Celtic and Rangers.

As well as the points differential, there was also a substantial goal difference; Leanne Ross’ side were 31 behind Rangers and a whopping 44 behind a Celtic side who scored 108 goals last season across the league campaign.

City were hindered by injuries to key players with Fiona Brown cruelly succumbing to a fifth ACL after making an immediate impact when she had returned to the club in the January window.

But the suspicion is that this season Celtic and Rangers have kicked on from previous seasons.

Where the year before there was a triumvirate, both Celtic and Rangers seem to have taken an addition step this term.

As the league tries to grow and evolve, it will be interesting to see if the substantial fan base at both clubs gives them a kick on. Few would underestimate City and the role they have long held of being the dominate force within the women’s game. Twice they have made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League while their domestic dominance was unparalleled.

Quite what the future holds this coming season and whether they have the resources to push to regain their title remains to be seen.


The argument for women’s places to be protected has become bitterly divisive but it is not one which is going to go away any time soon.

This week Lia Thomas, the transgender swimmer, was told that it would not be possible to compete in the female category in the Olympics after losing a legal battle. 

Women’s place in sport has been long fought for; it took until 2012 before women were allowed to compete across all sports in the Olympics.

It took until 1975 before a woman was permitted to run a marathon in the UK; 1972 for Boston and New York. Trying to accommodate competing needs is complicated but when it comes to protecting women’s space in sport it seems fairly straightforward. 


It was nice to see members of the SWNT in among the Tartan Army as they partied in Munich across the last few days. Hopefully it will be their turn next year to go and enjoy a different kind of celebration by landing themselves a spot at the European Championships in Switzerland.