Scotland: Players ‘need to be at their best’ to make World Cup squad

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr at Hampden
Shelley Kerr has been in charge of Scotland since 2017

Scotland women’s head coach Shelley Kerr admits “the expectation of the nation” rests on her players’ shoulders ahead of their World Cup debut.

The Scots begin their campaign in June when they face England in Nice.

Kerr says she will be monitoring her players closely in the coming months.

“The players need to see us out at the games, it gives them peace of mind that they’re getting watched not just on videos but live, because that’s so important,” she said.

“Everyone needs to be at their very best in the up and coming months to give themselves an opportunity to be selected.

“When you play national team football, it is the top end of the game, so as much as sometimes people don’t see it as a pressure, there is, because the expectation of a nation is on their shoulders.”

Scotland’s World Cup preparations start later this month when they play Iceland and Norway in La Manga, Spain.

This signifies the next stage of Scotland’s build-up to the summer’s tournament in France, but they will have to do it without five of their big names – with Kim Little, Lee Alexander, Emma Mitchell and Sophie Howard all injured, while captain Rachel Corsie has club commitments in Australia.

Spartans goalkeeper Rachel Harrison is back in the squad for first time in two years and could win her first cap. Lucy Graham also returns to the squad after impressing at Bristol City.

“Iceland and Norway are two fantastic opponents,” said Kerr. “They are very physical, and we’ve struggled against physical teams in the past. A year ago we played Norway and we lost 3-0 so this will be a real measure of where we’ve come from.

“Being without the five players for this campaign is a big hit for us. But we had four missing for the US friendly and we coped magnificently well. And when players are out injured it gives others an opportunity.”

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Fife (Hibernian), Harrison (Spartans), Lynn (Vittsjo GIK).

Defenders: Arthur (Birmingham City), Beattie (Manchester City), Frankie Brown (Bristol City), Docherty (Glasgow City), Murray (Hibernian), Smith (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Arnott (Manchester United), Crichton (Glasgow City), Graham (Bristol City), Lauder (Glasgow City), Love (Glasgow City), Murray (Liverpool), Weir (Manchester City).

Forwards: Fiona Brown (Rosengard), Clelland (Fiorentina), Cuthbert (Chelsea), Emslie (Manchester City), Evans (Arsenal), Ness (Durham), Ross (West Ham United).


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