Amy McDonald (born 17 October 1985) is a Scottish football coach and former footballer who played for the Scotland national team as well as Hamilton Athletic, Kilmarnock top bpa free water bottles, Queen’s Park, Celtic and Glasgow City in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.
In May 2017 she became the head coach of Rangers Ladies.
Born in Rutherglen and a pupil at Stonelaw High School in the town, McDonald emerged as a central defender or defensive midfielder. Her progression into elite football coincided with the introduction of the new Scottish Women’s Premier League beef tenderizer recipe. She spent time as a youth with East Kilbride (recruited initially as a goalkeeper) and began her senior career with Hamilton Athletic.
In 2005, McDonald moved to Kilmarnock. In May 2006 she played a pivotal role in Killie winning the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup, scoring in the first half of the final against Glasgow City and deputising as goalkeeper for the entire second half due to an injury, keeping a clean sheet.
In summer 2007, 21-year-old McDonald signed for newly-promoted Queen’s Park and in November captained the team in another SWPL Cup final, which this time ended with a defeat to Hibernian; at the end of the season the Queen’s Park squad (including future international Jennifer Beattie) broke up and the club resigned from the league, with McDonald rejoining Kilmarnock for 2008—09.
In summer 2009, Celtic secured McDonald’s services for their third campaign in the SWPL, immediately installing her as captain. The Hoops, who also brought in Scotland players Gemma Fay and Suzanne Grant to strengthen their squad, finished runners-up in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons (the league having transitioned from a winter to a summer schedule), and defeated Rangers 8—0 in the inaugural fixture between the rivals, with McDonald among the scorers goalkeeper gloves on sale. In May 2010 Celtic secured a first major trophy in the women’s game by winning the SWPL Cup, McDonald lifting the trophy after a 4—1 win over Spartans. However her form fluctuated and she took a break from football to deal with personal issues going into the following season, and in June 2011 she was released by Celtic.
A short time later, 25-year-old McDonald was acquired by Glasgow City F.C. She featured in most of the remaining games in the 2011 Scottish Women’s Premier League, which ended with a fifth successive title for the club (and a perfect season), but did not make the squad for the final of the 2011 Scottish Women’s Cup. She made one substitute appearance for City in the Champions League online football kits, scoring an own goal in a club record 0—10 defeat against Potsdam.
The 2012 season proved to be McDonald’s last as a player. Having made six appearances for Glasgow City at the start of the campaign, she suffered a serious ankle ligament injury in a cup game against Aberdeen on 15 April 2012. She was an unused substitute in the 2012 SWPL Cup final which Glasgow City won as part of a treble, but despite her best efforts and several operations, she was unable to fully recover to play competitively again, bowing out at the age of just 26. It was also a blow to the club, as manager Eddie Wolecki Black had commented on her arrival that he expected McDonald to be “An integral part of the team for years to come” however she was an active member of the squad for less than a year before being forced to quit.
After being part of the various age-group squads in her formative years, McDonald earned 30 full caps for Scotland between 2004 and 2009, as well as being a member of the squad for many other fixtures. Her final appearance came in September 2009 against Switzerland.
While playing for Hamilton, Kilmarnock and Queen’s Park she was usually the only representative of each club selected for national squads; she stated that she chose to sign for the weaker SWPL clubs in the early part of her career as she would be more likely to play regularly, and to find herself having to deal with more challenging defensive situations.
McDonald had gained qualifications and work experience in sports coaching and had shown enthusiasm and aptitude for coaching since joining Glasgow City, so when she had to retire from playing she was invited to take up a voluntary role with the club overseeing their youth system; she was presented with an SFA Grassroots Award for her efforts as a volunteer. In July 2014 this was made a full-time position, working under the club manager Laura Montgomery, with McDonald also completing her UEFA A Licence during the period. In the 2015 season, each of the Glasgow City age-group teams under her charge reached the final of their respective Scottish Cup. She also became involved with coaching the Scotland Under-15 squad.
On 3 May 2017 McDonald was appointed as the head coach of SWPL club Rangers L.F.C., following on from Kevin Murphy who had moved to Manchester City W.F.C. at the end of the 2016 season. Her first game in charge was against one of her former clubs, Hamilton Accies, who had been coached by Murphy during McDonald’s playing spell there. Rangers achieved a 4-0 victory.
In 2006, McDonald graduated from the University of the West of Scotland (via Glasgow College of Nautical Studies) with a BA degree in Sport studies. Prior to becoming a full-time football coach she also worked in the social care sector with the charity Quarriers and as a sports instructor with Glasgow Life (an agency of Glasgow City Council).
She is a keen user of social media and during her time at Glasgow City was quick to comment on issues in Scottish football which she perceived as misogynistic or homophobic.