From Scotland to Sweden, both sides of Manchester and London, Jane Ross has experienced football in all its cultures.
Now, after playing in various colours, she finds herself in the royal blue of Glasgow Rangers Football Club.
The 32-year-old is no stranger to the Scottish leagues. She scored over 100 goals for reigning champions Glasgow City – winning 12 trophies in the process.
Following her success, The SWFA (Scottish Women’s Football Association) named an U13s league after her. Now, as she finds herself back at her old stomping ground, could we witness another Jane Ross goal show?
Her Football Hub spoke exclusively to the Scotland international about her move back home and how she expects her first season back in the SWPL to unfold.
Brought up a Rangers fans
There’s no denying that football begins at home. You grow up surrounded in the tense atmosphere of match-day, and are sometimes allowed to join in the celebrations.
You’ve bought your first kit and scarf and it soon becomes an annual tradition. For Jane Ross, this was no different.
Growing up with Rangers fans around her, she too became fond of the Gers. Smiling with pride, she spoke highly of her move to the club and how things have changed since she last pulled on her boots in her home country.
“My dad and my grandpa are both massive Rangers fans, so I was brought up in a Rangers household supporting them from a young age. Obviously to have the opportunity to sign there this season and play there professionally, is a dream come true for me. It’s something that I dreamed of as a young kid so it’s fantastic to be at the club and be part of the team – I think we’re building something exciting.
“The professional set-up has come on leaps and bounds since I last played in Scotland. From the aspects of being in during the day to train, having access to gym facilities and even the coaching staff surrounding the players as well. There’s not just one, but three coaches with the women’s team at the moment so there’s a large expansion of everything that goes along with the club. It’s exciting to see that happen at Rangers and other clubs in Scotland too.”
More than a goalscorer
When you think of Jane Ross, you think of goals. You think of that night in Albania after she sent the nation wild and booked their spot in the 2019 World Cup.
With Rangers missing a clinical finisher last season, Ross was brought in to finish the sequence. The hope is she will help take them from a third place side to a Champions League qualifying squad.
But there’s more to the striker than just her on-pitch contributions – the wealth of experience she carries with her.
The Rangers Academy graduates can only benefit from having someone of her pedigree in their changing room.Embed from Getty Images
“For me, I’ve come in to be part of this team and club first and foremost,” Ross explained. “Obviously I can score goals but I think there’s a lot more to my game than just that. As much as I love putting the ball in the back of the net – and there’s no better feeling – as long as we win the game and I contribute in any way I can on or off the pitch. I feel there’s a lot more that I can bring to the team in that aspect, but of course I’m renowned for scoring goals.
“It’s great that Rangers are developing their young talent. We had a few of the young ones training with us over pre-season when they were off school in the summer. For them to get that experience first and foremost is fantastic, and a few of them have even stepped into the first team and got some game time during the cup fixtures.
“It’s great for them to come in and be in that first team environment and playing at that level. The younger ones who maybe didn’t get the chance to come and train and play with us will benefit from seeing that there is a pathway and that the opportunity is theirs if you work hard. The future of Rangers Football Club and Scottish football will only benefit from these young players getting this experience too.”Embed from Getty Images
Coming back for more
A lot has changed since Ross stepped out onto a dreich pitch in Scotland to play in the SWPL. Clubs have become professional, coverage has excelled, and fans have grown in the thousands.
Expectations have never been higher, especially at a club as big as Rangers. Despite the club’s winning philosophy and desire to snatch trophies, the full focus lies only in the game ahead.
“I always use the cliché, ‘take it a game a time’. I think if you focus on it at a weekly basis, focus on the opponent ahead and winning that match then your position in the league will take care of itself come the end of the season. For me that’s always been my mentality.Embed from Getty Images
“We’re obviously going to be looking to be challenging to be up there this season, and I’ve no doubt it’s going to be difficult due to clubs like Glasgow City and Celtic who managed to finish ahead [in the league] last season. I think it’s great to see the league has become more competitive and there’s more clubs challenging for that title.
“We’re a very competitive club and we want to win every game we possibly can to challenge for those trophies. Being at a club like Rangers, there are expectations to win silverware. That’s going to be our drive this season.”
Rangers kickstarted their league campaign last week against Hamilton with a 7-0 win. Kicking on where she left off, the former Manchester United starter grabbed four goals, including a first half hat-trick. Some things just never change.