Scotland Women’s boss Shelley Kerr has urged her side to embrace the challenge awaiting them in France after announcing the 23 players who will travel for the country’s first ever World Cup.
Kerr’s side take on England, Japan and Argentina this summer as they prepare to make their finals debut, and she has backed the squad she has painstakingly chosen to reach the knock-out stage.
She said: “It’s our first time at the World Cup but the target has already been set. We want to get out the group stages.
“The most important thing though is that we embrace the occasion and have an enjoyable tournament. But it’s more enjoyable if we win games and I have every confidence in this group of players that they can get us out of the group stages.”
This is Scotland.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT)May 15, 2019
Arsenal midfielder Kim Little is set to make her first appearance at a major finals for Scotland after making Kerr’s squad, having missed out on Euro 2017 through injury.
Manchester City defender Jen Beattie – daughter of former Scotland and British and Irish Lion rugby international John – has also secured her place on the flight to Nice, where Scotland will kick off their tournament against the Auld Enemy on June 9.
Kerr added: “It was so tough choosing the squad. Throughout the campaign and the last year and a half we’ve used over 35 players, so to narrow it down to 23 was really tough with some really tough decisions.
“But, you know, it’s all about the 23 that have been selected for the first time the Scottish women’s national team will go to a World Cup.
Tears. Emotion. Smiles. Happiness. Absolutely delighted to be selected as part of the Squad to travel to France for the World Cup! We will See you at Hampden on May the 28th for our send off game v Jamaica.. make sure you get your tickets!!#OurGirlsOurGame#SWNT🏴💙pic.twitter.com/zZM4UwrkPS
— Lana Clelland (@LanaClelland)May 15, 2019
“It’s an honour, a privilege, and their families should be really proud of their achievements.
“Throughout the campaign we have shown character in abundance and resilience. But the biggest thing is we have a talented group of players and that will stand us in good stead going to the World Cup.”
Midfielder Jo Love revealed her delight after receiving a call from Kerr that broke the good news she had also been selected.
The 191-cap Glasgow City player said: “I’d got back from the gym yesterday and I was sitting quite innocently watching Homes Under the Hammer while having my breakfast.
If your dreams don’t scare you then they aren’t big enough…
— Erin Cuthbert (@erincuthbert_)May 15, 2019
“Then my phone lights up and it’s Shelley calling. I was like, ‘Do I answer it or do I not?’
“I wasn’t sure what she wanted to speak about but I answered and it was so nice to have that personal touch and for Shelley to actually tell me I was in the squad.
“I’m not too sure what she said after that because I was too busy crying. It was wonderful.”
Scotland Women’s World Cup squad:Lee Alexander (Glasgow City), Jenna Fife (Hibernian), Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo GIK), Chloe Arthur (Birmingham), Jennifer Beattie (Manchester City), Rachel Corsie (Utah Royals), Nicola Docherty (Glasgow City), Sophie Howard (Reading), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Joelle Murray (Hibernian), Kirsty Smith (Manchester United), Lizzie Arnot (Manchester United), Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City), Kim Little (Arsenal), Jo Love (Glasgow City), Christie Murray (Liverpool), Caroline Weir (Manchester City), Fiona Brown (FC Rosengard), Lana Clelland (Fiorentina) Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea), Claire Emslie (Manchester City), Lisa Evans (Arsenal), Jane Ross (West Ham).