Kirsty McGuinness of Linfield (c) Presseye

INTERVIEW: McGUINNESS HAS EYES ON A FOURTH WOMEN'S TITLE

Linfield captain Kirsty McGuinness has sent an ominous message to the club’s title rivals - the Blues are stronger than ever and aiming for a fourth consecutive Danske Bank Women's Premiership title.

The South Belfast giants have won each of the three league titles since the league was re-formatted and are early frontrunners this time out, with three wins from three.

Phil Lewis’ side have defeated Sion Swifts, Crusaders and Glentoran to nil and despite exits from the County Antrim Cup and Danske Bank Women’s League Cup - they are favourites for another league crown.

“We want to win four league titles in a row, that is what keeps us hungry and motivated,” McGuiness explained

“The title race will go down to the wire this season, it’s stronger than ever, but so are we we can only focus on ourselves and staying above the competition.

“When you’re out of two cup competitions, it hurts but that is over and done with, it’s history, we can only focus on the league and that’s what we have done.

“We were missing quite a few players for that match against Glentoran and we know how tough an opponent they are, and how fired up they would be to win.

“But it didn’t matter which eleven players were on the pitch for us, or who are opponents were, our mentality does not change - we go out to get three points and we did that.

“We showed that regardless of who is playing, we have the strength in depth with youth players coming through and the competitiveness here is unbelievable.

“Our Under-19's have been really successful over the past few years too and when you have those sorts of players coming in, it’s an exciting time for the club.”

McGuiness was appointed team captain at the start of the campaign to replace the retiring Sarah Venney and already possessing 47 international caps for Northern Ireland, she is the ideal fit.

Kirsty combines playing football with GAA, as does her teammate and sister Caitlin, while brother Caomhan is a defender for Linfield Swifts and youngest sister Orleaith is in the Linfield Academy.

“I’ve been at the club eleven-and-a-half years, but being captain is a huge honour,” added McGuinness.

“I love this team and all the girls here are really close, there is a fantastic team unity and bond here so it’s fantastic to be in the position I now am.

“Our family is super competitive too and we’re always trying to get one up on each other…Caitlin keeps telling me that she’s coming for my top goalscorer award, so I have to start getting a few goals!

“Not only do me and my siblings play football but we play GAA too - it’s a busy schedule but I’ve been lucky in being able to balance the two sports.

“I’ve been playing both sports from day one so there is an understanding on both sides that sometimes I will have an important game for the other.”

Tags:  Linfield Ladies