Francesca Ogilvie | Scottish Cup Preview
Game: AFC Women v Rangers
Competition: Scottish Cup Quarter Final
Day & Date: Sunday 15th September 2019
Kick Off: 1330
Venue: Aberdeen Sports Village
Francesca Ogilvie Interview
Aberdeen face Rangers Women on Sunday in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup quarter-final at Aberdeen Sports Village. The Dons fought their way to the last eight by defeating teams in the two leagues above them in the previous two rounds, in Kilmarnock and Spartans. Francesca Ogilvie was the hero in the last round against Kilmarnock, scoring twice in a 3-1 win and she is looking forward to another huge challenge on Sunday.
“I get nervous for every game we play, not just the big games so it’ll the same for Sunday and I’m obviously looking forward to it at the same time. I want to be a footballer so the more I can play in big games, the better it is for me to challenge myself”.
Rangers are currently playing their football two divisions above Aberdeen in SWPL1, the same league as Spartans who the Dons defeated away from home two rounds ago but Francesca doesn’t think that means anything ahead of Sunday. “I think going into the Spartans and Kilmarnock games we were the underdogs but we proved a point by beating both of them. I think Rangers will be wanting to prove a point to us now, that we can’t just beat every Premier team that we come up against”.
Ogilvie scored two fantastic goals in the last round as Killie were knocked out at the Balmoral Stadium in Cove. Francesca feels the artificial surface helped the Dons that day. “I enjoyed the Kilmarnock game, especially as it was on Astro as we tend to play better on Astro pitches. Sunday will be different as it’s on grass which makes a difference as we train two or three times a week on Astro so we’re more used to it. It can be difficult to adjust between Astro and grass as the ball reacts differently but we just have to get used to it”.
As well as their training, midfielder Ogilvie and her team mates will do their homework on opponents Rangers in the lead up to Sunday, just as they do with all their opponents. “There isn’t much change for the bigger games, obviously we look at what the other teams do and we do the same for our league games. We look at clips of the teams through the week and on Thursday in training we’ll work on our shape and how we want to play against them”.
The Dons go into cup action off the back of an 8-2 victory over Kelty Hearts at the weekend, in a game where they were 2-0 down. 18-year-old Ogilvie never doubted her team would turn around that poor start though. “I knew when we were two nil down on Sunday that we would come back and win, that’s just the kind of team we are. We did it against Spartans as well, we went behind but we kept fighting and didn’t let our heads go down. We’ve not been behind a lot this season but we coped well with it on Sunday although it’s not a position that we want to be in too often”.
Francesca joined Aberdeen in April having begun the season impressively with her former club Cove Rangers.
“I think I had been on Aberdeen’s radar for a while and they had come in for me at the start of the season but with the new stadium at Cove opening, I wanted to see how things would go there. Also, I didn’t know if I could fit into the Aberdeen team and I was getting regular game time at Cove but Aberdeen were quite persistent and eventually I signed with them”.
Ogilvie hit the ground running for the Dons, scoring on her debut against Buchan Ladies and becoming a vital member of the side ever since. Her impressive form recently earned her a call-up to Pauline Hamill’s Scotland under-19 squad.
“It was my first call-up and I found it really nerve-wracking although I get nervous for every game. I started in my first game so I was thrown right into it and I didn’t really settle into the game as I would’ve liked. The second game I was feeling much better but I got injured and had to be taken off at half time”.
The experience was a good one overall for the ambitious midfielder but she admits to being nervous about her experience with the national side.
“The training camp before we went away was really nerve-wracking as I only knew one person and that was Eilidh (Shore) from Aberdeen. Going and having to mix with players immediately was quite hard but I’m quite an outgoing person so I just did what the same as I did when I started here. It was good to have Eilidh there as she had been part of the set up before so knew some of the players”.
Despite being unbeaten in their league fixtures this season, it will be a huge step up when Francesca and her team-mates take on a Rangers side two leagues above them on Sunday. Whilst acknowledging how difficult a task lies ahead, Ogilvie knows her team will give it their all.
“I think we just need to treat it like we did the Kilmarnock and Spartans games and just go in and give everything and we’ll certainly give Rangers our best game. At the end of the day it’s just eleven players against eleven players so we just have to give our best and see what happens”.