World Cup Preview: Scotland

Scotland Women's National Team. Photo from @ScotlandNT
Scotland Women’s National Team. Photo from @ScotlandNT

On Tuesday 28th May 2019 Scotland’s Women National Team takes on Jamaica in their final preparation match for the World Cup at Hampden Park.  Shelley Kerr announced her squad for the tournament last Wednesday and there were no surprises as who was included other than Arsenal’s Emma Mitchell missing out.

Kerr’s players have been on a journey since losing to England in the European Championships in 2017. Losing six-nothing to England on Match day one would have been a kick in the teeth for any side, but to lose to your biggest rivals was something else.  Losing that game took its toll as they went on to lose 2-1 to Portugal a few days later, a major blow in Scotland’s chances of progressing.

Match day Three saw them come up against a very good Spanish team.  With everyone expecting a similar scoreline from their first game, but Caroline Weir proved people wrong as she scored the winner in the 42nd minute to give them all three points. The squad was changing and maybe the tournament came too soon for them.

Scotland Women's National Team. Photo from @ScotlandNT
Photos from @ScotlandNT

This will be there First World Cup and the whole of Scotland can’t wait to get behind the team. Since qualifying for the tournament they have gone onto get stronger.  You can see how much it means to the players and how much they want to win. Outsiders for many for the World Cup but if they get through the group stage anything is possible. Shelley Kerr will have her players ready for the first test against England on the 9th June at the Allianz Riviera Stadium.  It’s not going to be an easy game but getting the tactics right they can stop England.  The squad is full of youth and experience and this is the time for them to deliver.

If Caroline Weir plays to her abilities she could be one of the tournaments best players.  Rachel Corsie and Jen Beattie lead a solid unit at the back which will be backed up by Lee Alexander in goal who has had a great season with Glasgow City this season.  Kerr is spoilt for midfielders and must make a tough decision in terms who to leave out.  Kim Little has had another good season with Arsenal, a midfield dynamite who covers all the grass on the pitch.  Similar to the forward’s role, all players selected have had a good season with their clubs.

Erin Cuthbert’s fighting attitude on the pitch with her Champions League experience will come in vital.   Players like Lana Clelland and Fiona Brown who have been playing abroad bring a lot to this team.  There is so much healthy competition in this squad.  With Kerr’s team working with them day in day out for the next week few weeks, getting the right balance we might see something special from this team. Maybe this is the year!?

Read more from me on this blog and follow him online at @shaimpatel_.

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