West Side wonder wowing Hibs

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Through a stunning schools football career with the Nicolson Institute and key role with the Western Isles Island Games Womens football squad, West Side wing wizard Beth Macleod has long been considered a cast-iron guarantee of goals and spectacular play.

But now her reputation has gone nation-wide after crossing the Minch to Edinburgh University where she has become a key cog in the table-topping uni football team.

And she has also blazed a trail into the development squad of Scottish football giants Hibs.

Able to play through the middle or down either flank, the 18-year-old’s dribbling skills usually leave defenders trailing in her wake and a remarkable haul of 16 goals in just eight university team starts show she is continuing to impress.

“I’m loving it and it is such a great opporutnity and one we just can’t get at home,” Macleod told the Gazette this week.

“The standard here is really, really good too. The pace is so much quicker and you have to be switched on all the time and moving the ball on faster than you are used to.

“It has been tricky to adjust but playing this kind of football regulalry can only help and it’s been brilliant.”

WIIGA Women’s team coach Euan Macleod helped Beth knock on the Hibs door with a trial and she has already made her mark in the green shirt of the Edinburgh giants.

“For Hibs I’ve played five times but I haven’t started too many times yet, although I played in a friendly this week against Forfar and I scored a hat-trick,” she beamed.

“It was just a friendly but I’ll take it – definitely.

“I think the coaches are pleased, although they haven’t said too much they have given me a deal for next year so I can’t be doing too badly.”

Beth was an instrumental part in the all-conquering Nicolson Insitute girls football team which amassed the most fearsome record in schools football with a run of just ONE single loss in regulation time over a period of four seasons. Winners of four straight North of Scotland Cups and three times Scottish Cup finalists - including two wins.

Blessed with consummate ball skills and beautifully balanced it should come as no surprise that she has excelled with the university team despite arriving only recently.

She continued: “The Uni team is great. We are top of the league but we have played a game more than Stirling who could overtake us. We are unbeaten this season. I start and finish most games and I’ve been amongst the goals too.

“The trickiest thing is juggling the two sides as both train on the same nights. It’s not been easy to manage that and I’ve tried to train with the teams before their matches.

“When I first started at university I was training twice a week, playing twice a week and strength and conditioning training on a Saturday as well.”

She added: “There are none of the other girls from Lewis here in Edinburgh Uni although I have seen a few when playing against them for other universities and its been good to see them.”