2019 Women’s World Cup: Shelley Kerr says countries will want Scotland

Scotland Women celebrate qualifying for the World Cup
Scotland will find out who they will face on their World Cup debut after the draw in Paris on Saturday
2019 Women’s World Cup draw
Venue: Paris Date: Saturday, 8 December Starts: 17:00 GMT

“Lots” of countries will want to be grouped with Scotland in Saturday’s World Cup finals draw, says national coach Shelley Kerr.

The Scots are one of four nations who make their first appearance in the finals next summer, along with Chile, South Africa and Jamaica.

They won seven of eight qualifiers to ensure they are among the 24 teams competing between 7 June and 7 July.

“Every night I think about it and have done since we qualified,” Kerr said.

“Of course there are teams we want to avoid and teams we want but it’s the same for every nation – I’m sure there are lots who want Scotland.”

Scotland’s qualification follows their debut appearance at the 2017 European Championship in the Netherlands under the leadership of Kerr’s predecessor, Anna Signeul.

In those finals, Scotland were thrashed by England before losing to Portugal and beating Spain.

“We’ve certainly bridged the gap over the campaign,” said Kerr, whose side are ranked 20th in the world.

“What we have done is show the nation how we play the game – expansive style of football, we’ve been adaptable, we’ve defended when we had to and attacking wise we’ve got some really talented players.”

What are the pots & how does it work?

Pot numbers Countries in each pot
Pot 1 France, USA, Germany, England, Canada, Australia
Pot 2 Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Spain, Norway
Pot 3 South Korea, China, Italy, Scotland, New Zealand, Thailand
Pot 4 Argentina, Chile, Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Jamaica

There will be six groups of four team, with no two teams from same continent in the same group, which the exception of the European nations. There will be a maximum of two of those in each group.

The top two in each section advance to the knockouts, plus the four best third-placed teams.

Games will be played in Grenoble, Le Havre, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Paris, Reims, Rennes and Valenciennes, with the final also in Lyon on the last day.

“I’m really looking forward to the draw and finding out who we’re going to get and where we’ll be based so the real planning can start,” Kerr said.

“You’ve got to enjoy it. I’m sure they’ll put on a show but there’s a real air of excitement and I’ll enjoy every moment regardless of what the draw bring for us.”

Best case
Worst-case scenario

‘I’ll be their biggest fan’ – analysis

Former Scotland striker Julie Fleeting, who scored 116 goals in 121 games

This is a fantastic opportunity and rewards the players for all the hard work that’s gone on for years. I’ll be very envious of them playing but very proud to watch them. I’ll be their biggest fan.

They’re going to come up against quality opposition and extremely talented players regardless of the group or outcome of the draw. There will be no easy ties but if you want to play at tournaments you have to be prepared to take on the best.

I’ve no doubt there are countries who will be wanting Scotland in their group and you can’t blame them – we haven’t been at that level before. But it’s our opportunity to be the underdog, with no expectations and go to the World Cup and show what our players are capable of doing. We have that chance to maybe sneak up on people and surprise them.


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