Glasgow City footballer Leanne Ross has plenty to shout about

PIC: STENHOUSEMUIR. Ochilview. Leanne Ross, Champions League and Scotland footballer (Glasgow City Football).
PIC: STENHOUSEMUIR. Ochilview. Leanne Ross, Champions League and Scotland footballer (Glasgow City Football).
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Her voice is diminuendo, but Leanne Ross has plenty to shout about.

The footballer, from Stenhousemuir, has been starring for club and country at home and abroad in one of the most hectic seasons she’s known. After 54 games, and training four times a week since February, she is quietly looking forward to a break.

“In terms of the number of games, this has easily been my busiest season,” she told The Falkirk Herald. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

That the season has reached half a century is testament to her own, and her club Glasgow City’s success.

Her club again won the Scottish Women’s Premier League, again captured the Scottish Cup and again reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League. All the while having the likes of midfielder Ross capped by Scotland in the meantime.

When The Falkirk Herald catches up with Ross, who started her career playing in a boys’ team in Stenhousemuir, she’s losing her voice after all the exertions and beginning her first full week back at work since August.

“They’ve been great and helped me work round my games. People have picked up my programmes while I’ve been off - and there’s been a lot of travel involved too.”

Recently she’s been in Israel earning her 69th cap with Scotland and Germany facing FC Turbine Potsdam - one of the elite teams in the women’s game. Glasgow City are clearly Scottish football’s greatest team at the moment, but they were still beaten 17-0 over two games against the Germans.

“The gulf in class was huge between the knock-out stages and the groups of the Champions League,” Ross admitted.

“We did beat Valur Reykjavik who were the 11th seeds, and ran them off the park in the second leg.

“But I think Potsdam have a good chance of winning it again this season. They were runners-up last season and won it the year before.”

That’s a similar addiction to silverware that Ross and her City team-mates possess domestically.

Her diminishing voice is not the result, she assures, through celebrating the Hensons Scottish Cup win over Hibernian on Sunday.

It could be though, that the former Stirling Albion and Falkirk Girls player strained it from talking about the game.

Boosted by Glasgow City’s progress, interest has soared in women’s football this season, even to the extent of City games screened live on TV from Petershill Park in Glasgow.

“It has been good publicity, but obviously we would like even more.

“It’s up to us to keep working hard and raising the profile and that’s why no-one is complaining about the number of games.

“To play 54 games is a lot, but that means you’re still in competitions and if that’s the case I’ll play as often as possible. That too raises the profile and there has been a heightened media interest (in Glasgow City) and the game in general.

“I have people coming up to me in the street in Stenhousemuir asking when the next game is and how I’m doing after watching the games, it’s good.”

Even where she works as an active schools’ co-ordinator her exploits haven’t gone unnoticed - despite being off-campus more than usual because of her games.

“In the schools some of the pupils will say ‘I saw you on TV’ or ‘Your team got beat 10-0’ and I’m like ‘Thanks for reminding me’ but it just shows the profile is growing and that’s good for the sport.”

Ross is back at work now and back in training on January 3. In the meantime she’ll be pounding the pavements of Stenhousemuir and Larbert whenever they’re clear of ice and snow, maintaining her fitness levels.

The women’s game switched to a summer calendar a couple of years ago and that’s made a difference even though Ross is exhausted.

“I’m glad of the break now, but it’s been a good season. Playing through the summer definitely helps - getting the run of games without call-offs and playing in the better weather has been much better.

“I am knackered though,” she admits.

She sounds it too.