'Carpe diem' for Scotland on women's Euro debut

Barsaba Taglieri
Luglio 19, 2017

"We obviously want our home-grown players to stay in Scotland and be strong in Scotland, but right now the opportunities are overseas I'd say".

Skipper Steph Houghton also reflected on the significance of the footballing rivalry between England and Scotland and said that she would be taking inspiration from Paul Gascoigne for the group stage clash.

Scotland, playing in their first major tournament, have lost key players Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie to injury.

Fay said: "I don't think we need a history lesson in any sort of English culture".

In the build-up to the game, England players were shown a film about the history of Scotland to help understand their opponent's motivations.

"It's fantastic we have lots of players scattered about everywhere to bring different things to the team".

"We know the rivalry, it's one that excites us, but it's not going to overshadow what we're here to do, which is to go out and look to win this opening game at the European Championship".

Sampson has instilled a rigorous fitness regime, which he claims leaves his side as one of the best prepared teams in the tournament.

20. Renato Sanches  €22.8m
GETTY 20. Renato Sanches €22.8m

"Both teams will be determined to win".

"We'll eat a cake, which we seldom do nowadays - but that's not until after the game", Signeul said. They're a brilliant team but we have every right to be here and we're not here to make up the numbers.

Scotland have the capabilities to make things hard for England and striker Jane Ross could hurt them on the counter-attack, but from England's perspective the expectation is that they should win.

And the Perth-born 35-year-old said the Scots would be raring to get at Mark Sampson's World Cup bronze medallists, admitting she has never played a more important match.

The England game will be an occasion that stands out, and that will particularly prove the case for Signeul if her team cause an upset and beat a side who have one eye on the trophy.

Martens was denied twice by Hjelmseth early into the game as the keeper first cleared her shot in the first minute following a cross from van de Sanden, then tipped another over the bar ten minutes later.

The long wait for Scotland's women to play in a finals is nearly over and while hoping for success on the pitch, qualification is already seen as a triumph that can help inspire the next generation of players. Defender Vaila Barsley is a big presence and will be a threat from set-pieces.

But they have not won the opening game of a major tournament since 2005. It will be the biggest game of their careers and this is huge for raising the profile of women's football in Scotland. 'We've had messages from them all wishing us luck, they're with us all the way.

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