Where Are They Now?: The Glasgow City 2015 UWCL Quarter Final Squad

Somewhere in an alternate universe Glasgow City have just claimed the biggest scalp in their 22 year history. After a goalless two legs a 30-yard-screamer from Hayley Lauder in Wolfsburg, deep into second half injury time, crashes off the underside of the crossbar before rippling the back of the net to send the travelling orange clad army wild. A place in the UEFA Women’s Champions League last four is secured and a trip to Austria for the final is just two games away.
Alas in this realm a global pandemic and the rightful priority of keeping people safe has put a hard stop on all football related activities and so, with time on our hands, Editor Chris Marshall turns back the clock to the 22nd March 2015. A day when Glasgow City became the first Scottish side to compete in the Champions League Quarter Finals and asks, of those players named in the City squad that day, where are they now?
Starting XI

Lee Alexander
The current Scotland number one was still understudy to Gemma Fay at international level but had firmly established herself as first choice at Glasgow City by 2015.
She would spend 2016 in the Damallsvenskan on full-time terms with Mallbackens IF before returning to Glasgow the following season.
She had a starring role in the second leg of this season’s Last 16 tie against Danish side Brondby, saving three penalties in the shoot out as City progressed to the last eight once again.

Hayley Lauder
The versatile Lauder had returned to Scotland in 2014 following spells in Cyprus, Finland and Sweden signing for City just four months prior to their tie with the French giants.
She has remained at City since that day and has also gone on to earn over 100 caps for the national side making her 100th appearance against Japan at last summer’s World Cup.

Rhonda Jones
The experienced Jones signed for City from Glasgow rivals Celtic with the then 35-year-old having already retired from international football, another with over 100 caps to her name.
Coming in just a couple of months prior to the tie she would move to Rangers in 2016 before retiring at the end of that season. She currently works full-time as a firefighter as well as being Chair of the You Are My Sunshine Mental Health charity.

Jo Love
Midfielder Love is another who remains at Glasgow City to this day having signed in 2011 and was the scorer of the winning penalty in the aforementioned shoot-out victory over Brondby in this season’s tournament.

She scored against Ukrainian outfit Zhtylobud Kharkiv in 2014/15 qualifying before netting against Polish side Medyk Konin in the Last 32 as City overturned a two-goal first leg deficit in Airdrie. She would be on the scoresheet again in the Last 16 scoring City’s 3rd as they completed a late comeback against Swiss side FC Zurich.
A stalwart of the current City side she has made the news recently for her work off the park where she has been part of the Glasgow City Council lab team testing and producing hand sanitiser as part of the fight against coronavirus.

Denise O’Sullivan
Irishwoman O’Sullivan was two years into a prolific three year spell at City following a move from Cork in her homeland and would end 2015 as Glasgow City Players’ Player of the Year, Coaches’ Player of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year, a repeat of the same accolades she received the previous year.
She too would score against Zhtylobud Kharkiv, netting a double to go along with an earlier goal against Slovaks Nové Zámky. Her most telling contribution in City’s quarter final run would come in the Last 32 as it would be her injury time strike that would seal the comeback victory over Medyk Konin.
In 2016 she moved to the NWSL with the Houston Dash before swapping Texas for the North Carolina Courage as her star continued to rise. Named MVP for the 2018 & 2019 NWSL champions in both seasons while also squeezing in two loan spells in Australia during the American off-season.
Still only 26 she has developed into one of the biggest stars in women’s football.

Kerry Montgomery
Northern Ireland international Kerry Montgomery arrived at Petershill Park ahead of the 2015 campaign having won the SWPL Player of the Year trophy with Spartans the previous season. She only spent a year with City before moving to Celtic and then Motherwell where she joined up with her former boss Eddie Wolecki Black.
She captained the Women of Steel to the SWPL2 title in 2018 before leading them to 6th in SWPL1 last term.

Nicola Docherty
Energetic Scotland international full-back Docherty ended an eight year spell with City in February of 2020 when she returned to former club Rangers, this time on professional terms, having accrued a host of domestic honours during her time in orange and black including being named SWPL Player of the Year in 2018.

Cheryl McCulloch
Central defender McCulloch had joined City in 2014 after a successful spell at Hamilton Academical and was a scorer against Nové Zámky in qualifying.
She remained at Petershill Park until 2016 at which point she moved to the east side of the city signing for rivals Celtic where the 30-year-old still turns out in the SWPL.

Emma Black
The 2015 season would be a precursor to a three year break from the game to concentrate on raising a family for the former international defender. It would bring an end to an 11-year association with the Glasgow club which featured Black becoming City’s first ever scorer in European competition against Athletic Club in 2006.
The former Scotland international returned to the game in 2018 to join her partner and former boss at City, Eddie Wolecki Black, at Motherwell before joining him again this time at Celtic in 2019 where she last pulled on the boots.

Leanne Ross
The current club captain was already into her 8th season with City when the French giants came calling and had scored one of the four goals that sealed a place in the quarter final against FC Zurich in the Last 16.
She amassed 133 caps for the national side before her retirement in August 2017 having been part of the first Scottish women’s squad to qualify for a major tournament finals in the form of that year’s Euros.
An ever present during City’s 13-in-a-row SWPL championship run she’s collected every major honour going in Scotland on multiple occasions. The 38-year-old has moved further back to a central defensive role in recent seasons but remains a key figure for the side as well as being the club’s all time top goalscorer.

Fiona Brown
Brown was just 19 when she led the line against the Parisians but was already seemingly set for bigger things. She had scored against Kharkiv in qualifying before snatching a crucial goal in the 2-1 Last 16 first leg defeat away to FC Zurich.
In December 2016 she followed the well trodden path to Sweden and the Damallsvenskan signing first for Eskilstuna United before joining FC Rosengård the following campaign where she claimed the 2018 Svenska Cupen.
The Scotland international remains with the Malmo based side and has been on the road to recovery following a third ACL injury sustained after spending last summer representing the national side at their first ever World Cup in France.

Lauren McMurchie
McMurchie went on “sabbatical” from City in 2018 following a ten year association with the club to take up an employment opportunity in the United Arab Emirates where she still currently resides.

Georgie Rafferty
Capped all the way up to U19 level internationally the central defender was only 17 at the PSG came calling. Has since played for Celtic and Motherwell where she ended the 2019 SWPL1 season. The 22-year-old currently runs a Sports Massage Therapy business.

Suzanne Lappin
Lappin was coming to the end of her second spell at City after scoring at a rate of nearly a goal a game during the early 2000’s and she was the clubs all-time top goalscorer with 231 goals until that tally was surpassed by Leanne Ross in 2016.
It would be Lappin’s 87th minute goal that would book City’s last eight spot as they defeated FC Zurich 4-2 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate.

Abbi Grant
Having scored the opener in the home leg against FC Zurich striker Grant followed her spell at City with short stints at Hibernian and Celtic before returning back to Springburn to pull on the orange and black.
In 2019 she signed for Anderlecht and scored 8 goals in 12 games as the Belgian side claimed the Super League title. That spell earned her a move to Birmingham City in the WSL where she was top goalscorer before the big shut down.

Susan Fairlie
After leaving City, former Hibernian striker Fairlie enjoyed a spell with Motherwell where she was a part of the SWPL2 title winning squad before retiring from the game to focus on a career in the police force.
It was Fairlie’s 77th minute strike against Medyk Konin that saw the game go into extra time where O’Sullivan’s would seal the comeback victory.

Megan Cunningham
The current Rangers stopper left City in 2016 for Celtic where she enjoyed a three year spell as number one before moving signing for the Light Blues in December 2019.

Manager: Eddie Wolecki Black
Wolecki Black left Glasgow City in 2015 having won 4 SWPL titles, 4 Scottish Cups and 4 SWPL Cups moving to Edusport Academy and then Airdrieonians in the men’s game before suffering a stroke that saw him need to take time away from the game.
He returned to women’s football in 2018 leading Motherwell to the SWPL2 title before guiding Celtic to 2nd in last season’s SWPL1. He is currently back at Motherwell for the 2020 season.
City may have eventually succumbed to their French opponents over the two legs but that squad’s place in Scottish women’s football history is secure as the first Scottish side to ever make the Champions League Quarter Finals, a feat that would be repeated 4 years later. Hopefully those games will come around soon.

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