THE head coach of Kelty Hearts’ new ladies’ team has targeted league promotion and attracting more local talent as his ambitions for their first year.

Chris Laird believes that it is within the New Central Park side’s capability to “reach high” on the field and develop an identity that includes bringing more players from in and around Kelty into the club.

After launching the Kelty Hearts Community Club – which has outlined a vision of providing an inclusive player pathway from the age of three upwards and to become a “conveyor belt for developing talent locally” – last year, it was announced before Christmas that a team had been formed to play in the Scottish Women’s Football League (SWFL).

Laird and assistant Bryan Simpson were persuaded to leave Bayside Ladies, who they had led to the SWFL Division Two East title in October in just the club’s second season, to become Kelty’s new management team and they have led them to an outstanding start.

Their maiden competitive fixture saw them hit double figures in a 13-0 rout of Bishopbriggs team West Park United in the preliminary round of the SWFL Division Two League Cup on February 11, which was followed seven days later by a 9-0 victory over Jeanfield Girls in their first league game.

It has been an encouraging start and Laird said: “It all happened really quickly but the club have been brilliant.

“We’ve had a pretty good start and have managed to secure some good players so things have really taken off.

“Kelty were a huge name in junior football and have obviously now gone professional. To do that is massive and everything at the club is really professional.

“It’s a big thing to get females involved and we’ve got about 20 players signed. They all seem to be happy to be here and they get on well.

“I’d like to be challenging at the top of the league and have a good run in the cup, maybe getting to the quarter-finals. You’ve got to reach high.”

He added: “We also want to bring in as many local girls and women in as possible.

“We have two or three already but we want to have more.

“I think that it’s important Kelty have local talent and an identity.”

Chris said that the club were looking to introduce girls’ sides at younger age groups and anybody wishing to go along to train with the club is welcome. For more information, you can find Kelty Hearts and Kelty Hearts Community Club on Facebook and Twitter.

Meanwhile, the team have been drawn to face Ross County in the second round of the SWFL Division Two League Cup. The tie will be played on Sunday.