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Women's Football News
Hearts emerged as victorious in the SWPL 2 title race when they defeated Partick Thistle 3-0 on Sunday, which confirmed them as Champions.
We talked to Hearts captain Danni Pagliarulo, who was understandably delighted at finishing top of the table after a long, hard season:
WSS: Many congratulations on winning the SWPL 2 title on Sunday, how does it feel now you are confirmed as Champions?
DP: It feels amazing, we have all worked so hard, from the squad to the backroom staff to achieve this goal. It hasn't come easy, but hearing the word "Champions" makes it all worthwhile.
WSS: Six points looks like a comfortable margin but it has been a lot closer than that between you and Hamilton, how tough a title race was it for your team?
DP: Yeah, it was very tough. At times we made it tough for ourselves. There were some games we went in as favourites but ended up drawing or losing. We showed so much character and belief, especially in the second half of the season and produced results that we may not have produced in previous games. Playing against Hamilton were always close, competitive games, however we remained unbeaten against them this season. Throughout the season we continued to focus on us, our performances and results.
WSS: But were there any nerves against Partick on Sunday, and were you aware of the Hamilton score whilst your game was going on?
DP: Personally, I have never been so nervous about a game. In the lead up to the game, the week prior, I couldn't even think about it without feeling sick. On the day, after the warm up, I knew we were going to do it. The girls were buzzing and there was no way we were losing that game.
WSS: Was the title a specific target for the club right from the start of the season?
DP: It has been the target for the last three years since I have joined the club. This was our year. Andy and the coaching staff developed a squad of players over the last three years to become Champions.
WSS: What would you say was the team's best performance during the course of the campaign, or the most significant result?
DP: We had three tough away games at the start of September. We went behind in a couple of the games but as I said before, the character showing by the squad was something that proved very significant in the end results in all the three games.
WSS: Have there been any unsung heroes in the team's success that deserve a mention, either on and off the pitch?
DP: That is a hard question because everyone has had a role in Hearts becoming champions. The attitude shown by all the players throughout the season has been unbelievable. I could happily go through each individual player and talk about how amazing they are on and off the pitch but you will probably have to give me the whole magazine! Andy...the commitment and passion he has shown over the time he has been manager is second to none. The man is relentless, ha ha! If i had to pick one though it would have to be Lewis - our media guy, rain, sun, snow, ice he is there filming our games as a volunteer. The one thing that's changed this season is we had analysis every week - if it wasn't for Lewis, we wouldn't be able to visually analyse our performances and probably have had to listen to Andy more. Thanks Lewis!
WSS: It's early days of course, but presumably you are already looking forward to the prospect of top flight football next season?
DP: Yeah of course! I have had experience in previous teams in the top flight, but I have been away from it for three years and a lot has changed. There has been a lot of improvement within each team. I am buzzing for it though.
WSS: Promotion also means that you will be up against Hibs and Spartans in the league, which should be great occasions?
DP: Yeah, everyone loves an Edinburgh derby. Always great passion involved. We have had a couple of games against both teams over recent years and they have always been a great game. I am looking forward to it.
Our thanks to Danni - and congratulations to Hearts!
(Photo - Hearts Women FC)
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