The Scottish squad has been named by Anna Signeul for the upcoming fixtures against Denmark which will be played in Cyprus in January.
It will be the first of at least six matches scheduled as Scotland prepare for their debut tournament at the Euros this July.
The games will be played on the 20th and 23rd January.
The goalkeeper situation is all but sealed for two of the places. Barring injury, Gemma Fay will be the Number One whilst Shannon Lynn will be her deputy.
The issue remains the third choice. For these friendlies, Rachel Harrison has been selected ahead of the likes of Lee Alexander and Megan Cunningham. The uncapped Harrison, who plays for Fortuna Hjorring, has previously been called up for the national team but has yet to make her debut.
Whether Signeul experiments, or sticks with Fay who currently has 195 caps, is yet to be seen.
More good news for Scotland is the return of Rachel Corsie and Kim Little. Arguably, Scotland missed Corsie more than the winner of the 2016 BBC World’s Player of the Year, but clearly, Scotland will be a better side with her in the team.
One of the big concerns with Scotland is the defence, but with the return of Corsie, Scotland will be confident in producing a solid defensive performance.
Little has returned to Arsenal in the close season, and this will help her in the Euro preparations.
Emslie Is Called Up
22-year old midfielder Claire Emslie will be looking to win her second cap. Emslie joined Bristol City in the summer of 2016, reuniting with her ex-Hibernian boss Willie Kirk. She played a key part in getting the club promoted to the WSL 1, impressing with her performances. Emslie even won the FA WSL Goal of the Season for a strike against Everton.
Cuthbert’s And Brown’s Big Moves
This is the first Scotland squad named since both Glasgow City’s young stars Erin Cuthbert and Fiona brown made their big transfers: Cuthbert to Chelsea and Fiona Brown to Eskilstuna United.
Both impressed in Scotland’s disappointing friendly defeat to the Netherlands and hopefully will start one of the friendlies to show what they can do at the international level.
Who Will Play?
With the players in their pre-season break, it is highly unlikely that the same team will play both of the friendlies. Will Signeul play her ‘strongest’ team in the first, and her ‘second’ side in the second match? Or mix-and-match?
The defence is as you would expect, so the experimentation is unlikely to be radical. The only player missing is Kirsty Smith who is recovering from an injury. It will be in midfield and up front where the changes will be the most interesting.
How does Little fit into the 4-4-1-1 formation? Which holding midfielders will get a chance? Who will play up front?
But, at the end of the day, what is important is that Scotland settles on a style of play and formation.
Denmark too are preparing for the Euros, and will also want to experiment.
Head Coach Anna Signeul told the SFA website, “This warm weather camp is ideal preparation for us in a number of ways and we’re excited to have both Kim Little and Rachel Corsie back with us…They are on course for a good Euros so we’re excited to test ourselves against them.”
Goalkeepers: Gemma Fay (Glasgow City) 195 caps, Rachel Harrison (Fortuna Hjørring) 0 caps, Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo GIK) 17 caps
Defenders: Jennifer Beattie (Manchester City) 102 caps, Frankie Brown (Bristol City) 77 caps, Rachel Corsie (Seattle Reign) 85 caps, Ifeoma Dieke (Vittsjo GIK) 112 caps, Emma Mitchell (Arsenal) 47 caps, Joelle Murray (Hibernian) 38 caps
Midfielders: Leanne Crichton (Notts County) 42 caps, Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea LFC) 2 caps, Claire Emslie (Bristol City) 1 caps, Lisa Evans (FC Bayern München) 52 caps, Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City) 79 caps, Kim Little (Arsenal) 117 caps, Joanne Love (Glasgow City) 172 caps, Christie Murray (Doncaster Rovers Belles) 41 caps, Leanne Ross (Glasgow City) 124 caps, Caroline Weir (Liverpool) 30 caps
Forwards: Lizzie Arnot (Hibernian) 6 caps, Fiona Brown (Eskilstuna United) 9 caps, Lana Clelland (UPC Tavagnacco) 11 caps, Jane Ross (Manchester City) 96 caps