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Kinghorn hopes girls will be inspired by Caithness Ladies' achievements


By Alan Hendry

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Sophie Kinghorn celebrates after opening the scoring for Caithness Ladies. Picture: James Gunn
Sophie Kinghorn celebrates after opening the scoring for Caithness Ladies. Picture: James Gunn

Sophie Kinghorn may be in the veteran category but she fully intends to play her part for Caithness Ladies next season – and she hopes the team's achievements can inspire local girls who want to get into competitive football.

The 41-year-old helped Caithness reach a cup final for the first time this year and secure a third-place finish in the SWF Highlands and Islands League.

Kinghorn scored twice in the first half in Sunday's 7-0 victory over Nairn in Thurso, having hit a "perfect hat-trick" of right foot, left foot and header in the 5-3 win against Orkney in Stromness the previous weekend.

The result against Nairn made sure Caithness would finish third in the table behind runners-up Orkney and champions Buckie. The team won seven of their 12 league fixtures and ended up on 22 points, 10 points adrift of Buckie and six behind the islanders.

Kinghorn took her double well against Nairn and could have had another hat-trick had she not been so unselfish in front of goal.

"I was trying not to be greedy," she explained. "It should have been more."

Dismissing age as "just a number", she insisted: "That's not my testimonial – I'll be coming back next year."

Kinghorn has relished the chance to play wide on the right.

"I'm feeling good on the wing, I have to say," she said. "Growing up, that's definitely where I felt strongest.

Sophie Kinghorn (left) takes the acclaim after scoring the opening goal for Caithness against Nairn on Sunday. Picture: James Gunn
Sophie Kinghorn (left) takes the acclaim after scoring the opening goal for Caithness against Nairn on Sunday. Picture: James Gunn

"But I appreciate the gaffer [head coach Tom McKenna] gave me the opportunity in the second half to go centre forward.

"I'm feeling really confident in every game because it took at least half a season where I was just feeling nervous, I didn't know my place, and now that's five goals in two games.

"The first half of the season I was midfield and I wasn't getting goals there. I was picking the ball up but maybe just not getting in positions. But I'm feeling confident... You get a lot of space on that wing and as an old bird I think I need that space."

After the win in Orkney, McKenna made it clear he would be challenging the team to be more clinical in attack. He said the players could be proud of what they had achieved in 2023 but felt they could have been title contenders if they had turned more of their scoring opportunities into goals.

Kinghorn joked: "He gives us nothing but grief. But surely seven goals can't be bad! We'll get there, though.

"I hope we're inspiring young girls to come through and get involved in the game, definitely. That's what we want."


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