Glasgow City head coach Craig Joyce believes it is testament to his players that they have made it to this weekend’s U17 SWF Youth Cup final at Oriam.
City have had to overcome three massive tests in order to set up this Saturday’s meeting with Dryburgh Athletic, and Joyce believes the squads work ethic has been key to their success this competition:
“They’re in four nights a week, which is a lot to ask any young player,” he said. “To turn up, be consistent and work hard – they do it.
“It’s not been done overnight; the quality has been built up over five or six years - the way they move the ball and the work they do off it is testament to their character and the effort they put in.
“The person comes before the player for us at City.
“I think sometimes that message can get lost in football, but hard work and work rate come before everything and these girls have that in abundance.
City have conquered Celtic, Rangers and Hibs en route to the final, scoring nine goals and conceding just one.
And Joyce couldn’t be happier with the way his team have played:
He said: “We’ve been up against basically all our rivals – if you want to put it that way – so we’re chuffed to have come through them and make it to the final.
“We knew the threat Hibs would bring to the party; they’re a very, very good side.
“I thought on the day the players were excellent; the way they moved the ball, the way they fought to win it back; the way they worked as a team – they executed everything we set out for them.”
But despite that emphatic 4-0 semi-final victory at Ravenscraig in September, it’s the second-round performance against Celtic that stands out for Joyce:
“I can’t highlight any individual, because they were all fantastic,” he said. “But if the team don’t come together and push on in the second half and show the quality they’ve got then we don’t make the quarter-final.”
In Dryburgh, City are up against a team that has been scoring for fun in this competition, and know they’ll have the quality to punish them if they do not turn up on Saturday:
“Dryburgh are a very good side,” said Joyce. “They’re quick in attack, physical, they work to their own advantages and we saw in that semi-final against Murieston that they’re pretty ruthless in front of goal when they got their chances.
“We need to move the ball quickly and take our chances when they come, as we did in the Hibs game.”