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Nearest challengers next up for pace-setting Dons.

Byline: Rachel Corsie SCOTLAND'S CAPTAIN SPEAKS OUT Moreen Simpson Column

IT is some pleasant viewing when you open up the SWPL2 table online.

The current format on my laptop screen shows the pretty coloured circles in the final column that reflect the run of results for all teams in the division. For the Dons, it displays a perfect run of five green dots, boasting their flawless start.

They are the only team to have an unblemished record at this point and deservedly sit above the rest with a five-point advantage at this early stage in the season.

The start must give head coach Emma Hunter encouragement for the season ahead, as the impressive start has come after an unusual and disruptive pre-season, after Covid-19 protocols were adhered to in order for the game to return to competitive action.

Now the season is under way, things should only continue to mould together as her side continues to gel. The relatively young playing squad looks promising, and they should grow in maturity and togetherness as things progress on the pitch.

Aberdeen have been well disciplined in these opening encounters. The experience of Kelly Forrest has showed, as she has transitioned into a natural centre-back role from midfield, a move that has additionally complemented her ability to captain the team.

Alongside her is the everpresent Loren Campbell, one of the longest servants in the squad, and the pair give stability and resilience of the Dons backline.

At the other end, Scotland youth international Bayley Hutchison continues to show why she is currently making headlines across the country.

Eight goals in the opening five games has been a remarkable start for the 17-year-old striker and it was her neat finish last weekend that proved to be her most important yet.

Hamilton, who are below Aberdeen Women in second place, are tomorrow's opponents. After seeing off Glasgow Girls in last week's trip to the Central Belt, the competition will likely take a step up this week.

Hamilton were tipped to earn promotion this season before things began, but after a mixed start they won't want to slip up any further, particularly at home against Aberdeen. With pressure on the home team, the Dons have the opportunity to go there and extend their own lead, in what's ultimately a six-pointer.

While there will be added confidence, after the Dons dismantled St Johnstone 8-1 at home during the week, there could also be some heavy legs.

Three games in a week, with a return trip to Glasgow on consecutive weekends has always been one of the difficulties that has faced clubs in the north playing in the top level of domestic football.

Although the players are used to the expectations and travel demands, it doesn't eliminate the added impacts it can have on performance. Aberdeen will need to be ready to not allow that to be an excuse come the end of the season in May.

CAPTION(S):

Aberdeen head coach Emma Hunter has watched her side win five games out of five this season

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Rachel Corsie SCOTLAND'S CAPTAIN SPEAKS OUT Moreen Simpson Column
Publication:Evening Express (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 14, 2020
Words:508
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