EVERY young footballer dreams of playing for their team.

When you’re young and kicking a ball around the back garden, when you score a goal and celebrate in the style of your favourite player, you imagine yourself pulling on that famous strip.

For Nicola McGuigan, that dream has become a reality.

McGuigan, who is also a psychology lecturer at West of Scotland University, has been an Alloa fan for as long as she can remember.

Hailing from Sauchie, she told Advertiser Sport: “I’ve always been crazy about football since I was a wee kid. I’m a big Alloa supporter.

“I’ve been an Alloa fan forever, my big brother took me to my first game when I was 11.

“My family are chuffed. My brother and my cousin are both big Alloa fans, they think it’s absolutely brilliant.”

McGuigan has played for Stirling University’s team and Falkirk, but took some time away from the game due to work.

A lifelong Alloa fan, the stars aligned when she was looking to get back into football and the Wasps were starting a team. Attending the trial was a no-brainer.

“I always hoped that Alloa would get a team up and running,” she continued. “As women’s football developed you started to see all the clubs creating women’s teams.

“I dreamed of the day [I could] play for Alloa. I’m just absolutely buzzing that it’s actually happened now.”

The squad is an eclectic mix of players; some haven’t played in years, some have never played, but McGuigan has loved every minute of it.

She continued: “It’s been absolutely fantastic. The girls are so nice and I’m learning so much. It’s been a quick start but I just feel like every week we’re getting closer and the football’s getting better and better.

“Everyone’s bonding and gelling really well, training’s been brilliant. The vibe is really, really good and in the future we can only get better and better.”

Not only is McGuigan enjoying the football, the physical and mental benefits are clear too.

She said: “Especially after lockdown you were used to doing everything individually so it’s been good to get that team spirit back.

“The physical aspect of it and all the bonding – especially after being stuck in and not being able to do team sports for so long – it makes it even better to be back playing.

“I’ve learned so much, he takes time to talk through things and explain everything. Other coaches have been good but I feel like I’m learning so much and he’s really positive.”

The club recently recorded their first ever competitive win, defeating Forfar 3-2. With no game at the weekend, the club are set to face McDermid Ladies on Thursday, June 9.

McGuigan said: “We’re seeing an improvement and it’s been such a dramatic improvement. That’s given us all a boost.

“We’re a brand new team. We all came together, many of us hadn’t met before.

“Everybody’s getting more confident and expressing themselves. Seeing the younger players coming out their shell has been brilliant to see.”