COMPETITIVE women's senior football in West Fife is ready to kick-off in October after fixtures were announced by Scottish Women's Football (SWF).

Dunfermline Athletic Ladies and Kelty Hearts Women, who both compete in the Championship North, have been given a start date of October 18 after their seasons were halted in March because of coronavirus.

It is anticipated that Bayside Ladies, who feature in the SWFL North/East Division alongside the Pars' under-21 team, will also have their fixtures for a return to the pitch confirmed soon.

For the opening round of games, Dunfermline – who are under the charge of new head coach Murdo Steven – will host Stonehaven at the Fleet Grounds, while Kelty Hearts will travel to Dryburgh Athletic.

Seven days later, Hearts entertain East Fife in a derby match at New Central Park, while Athletic hit the road to play Montrose.

The two West Fife clubs are slated to meet in Kelty on January 17 and Alan Martin, chair of Dunfermline Athletic Girls and Ladies FC, is excited to return to action.

"It's fantastic," he said. "We had been doing Zoom sessions with our club captain, Jenna Sexton, and the route map allowed us to start getting back in tiny wee groups at the end of June.

"We had girls come in and it started off with the coaches and their daughters, trying to work out how socially-distanced sessions would work. We were allowed from early- to mid-July to work in groups of maybe four girls and a coach, and that was good.

"We ran a few of those for a couple of weeks and then, more recently, we've been able to work in groups of 10 and a coach.

"The ladies are back and the Championship side have a start date of October 18 for fixtures. The SWFL side have got an indication that theirs will start then; we're just waiting for fixtures to come out.

"Off the pitch, Murdo Steven is our ladies' head coach and he'd just started – I think it was three weeks before the season started he came in – managed a couple of friendlies with the squad, and then I think we played four competitive fixtures when the season was shut down.

"We've brought in a goalkeeping coach and we've brought in a physio so we're just sharpening things up off the pitch with a view to this being the season we can kick on, hopefully get promotion and we'll be up into SWPL 2, which is the second tier of women's football in Scotland, which would be fantastic."

The season, as it stands, is scheduled to run from October until the end of April.