Lauryn Reside: Breaking through

By Gordon Gillen

The first few months of the season have seen a rush of goals from left-winger Lauryn Reside. The regular appearances on the scoresheet might have felt a long way off last season, and have been achieved having impressed as a substitute and in unfamiliar roles in the previous campaign.

A double against Stirling University demonstrated exactly why manager Jim Chapman is showing faith in Lauryn. The first was all about bravery, taking a hit from the opposition keeper following an instinctive finish. The second, a cut inside from the left and a placed effort into the top corner. This was the perfect follow-up to a place in the SWPL Team of the Week for two against Livingston in the previous month. Why then did we see less of Lauryn – a 2018 Scottish Cup finalist with Motherwell at 20 years old – last season than might have been anticipated?

Speaking to the Killie Magazine, Reside said: “When Jim and Stewart (Maule) came in last season, I wasn’t really in the team. I was in and out and not really getting a lot of gametime. Then, at the tail end of the season, we actually got a few injuries so I got my chance, and I feel that I took it. This season, I’ve just tried to grow from that. I don’t want to be back out of the team – I want to stay there and keep doing well.

“Last season, the team was performing. They weren’t really conceding a lot of goals, and we were winning games. Jim’s the type of manager who likes consistency, so why change it if it’s working? Towards the end, I was actually put on at right-back. It’s not my position at all – I’m a winger. He asked me if I would go in there, and I said it was not a problem.

“Jim then said to me in our meeting at the end of the season that he doesn’t see me as a forward player anymore, he sees me as a full-back. But, again, we’ve actually had a couple of players missing at the start of the season. I’ve been put back up on the wing and I’ve been scoring, so I don’t know what’s happening now!

“We play with a front three, so I’m more on the left wing rather than left midfield. Obviously we do get up and down the park to help with the defending, but we’re more up there to help Dionne (Brown) as much as we can. I think the midfielders have got a lot of running as well to get back, and to help the forwards.

“Dionne’s really good at holding the ball up and linking with the players around her. I think that’s been a positive as well – she’s able to hold the ball in, for us to get up and help her. And we’ve been taking the chances when they’ve come as well.

“Last year was Jim’s first season, and I think he was trying to get us to play a certain way. Maybe it just wasn’t clicking. The more we’ve gone on, and with a couple of new players this season, I just think it’s clicking now. What we are doing in training, we are trying to implement it in the games, and results show that it is working.”

Football is certainly a family affair for the Resides. The role played by older brother Stephen in particular has been pivotal, with few opportunities to be involved in the game at a young age.

“Stephen does a lot on YouTube to let people see the perspective of a disabled fan, to let them see the challenges they have to face. He also promotes clubs that are trying to fix it. Kilmarnock – look what they are doing with their platform, it’s amazing. Stephen says he loves watching a game there because of how good it is.

“It was probably my brother who got me into football. When I was younger, I didn’t really have many girls in my family, it was always boys. So I was always playing football. Steven would be out the back, on his knees, playing football. Or he’d be in the living room, breaking everything constantly – lights, vases, you name it!

“I’m really lucky that I’ve got massive support from my family. My mum’s at every game. My dad coaches in the juniors so he doesn’t make all the games but gets to as many as he can. Stephen, if he’s not watching Motherwell play, he comes and watches me if he can. And there are cousins, aunties and uncles too.

“There are more opportunities to go professional now in Scotland, which is amazing. And there is so much more for girls in schools as well. When I was at school there was no girls team, or you weren’t even allowed in the team, to be honest. All that’s changed – girls can play in teams and there are actually girls’ teams in schools. For example, Braidhurst, the performance school in Motherwell, are now doing a girls’ school as well.

“So I think there are more opportunities for the girls to get better and better with really good coaching, and they’ve got ambitions to go professional as well. It’s there for them whereas it wasn’t really there when I was younger. There were women’s teams at good levels but there wasn’t really many professional opportunities. I think it’s amazing how far the game has come.”

You can pick up the Killie Magazine in the Killie Superstore, with the next edition set to be available in time for our Scottish Cup clash with Dundee.