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“I feel in the best physical condition I have ever been” – Lana Clelland Interview

Photographs: Andy Buist

1. What made you make the move from Scotland to Italy to join UPC Tavagnacco?

The opportunity came around at the right time for me, I had just come back from a lengthy injury and the Scottish league ended so I felt it was a chance for me to get game time and focus solely on football and to experience a different style of football.

2. How have you found the process of settling in Italy?

Obviously daunting to start with, Italy is not a massive English speaking country out with the major cities. But football speaks for itself and that helped me settle in better knowing that on the training pitch I was improving and in games I was doing well.

3. This season has gone superbly for you so far, already scoring more goals this season than last. Has anything changed that has helped you find the back of the net more often?

Fitness, I feel in the best physical condition I have ever been, playing and training with top players day in day out is always going to help you improve and stay on top of your game.

Photo: Andy Buist
Lana Clelland (l) crosses the ball

4. What are the differences between Italian and Scottish football?

It is hard to compare two leagues that are completely different with the styles and beliefs of the game but training professionally and competing against top players every week has brought me on leaps and bounds in two years. Also the fact 98% of the Italian national team play within the league keeps the standard high and demanding, every game is a challenge.

5. What do you remember about your international debut?

My debut was against Cameroon in 2012 and we won 2-0. I just remember feeling really proud about making my senior debut!

6. How are you feeling ahead of Scotland’s double-header friendlies against Denmark?

I’m feeling excited, we have a great preparation run up to the Euros against hard oppositions so I think it will put us in good form going into the finals.

7. This is obviously a historic year in Scottish football with the Euros. How does it feel to be part of the squad that finally managed to qualify for a major tournament?

Extremely proud, the whole squad from the girls to staff have worked extremely hard over the years to get to where we are and we can’t wait to experience our first finals tournament.

Photo: Andy Buist

8. The draw has thrown up a couple of highly intriguing ties: with Scotland playing England and Spain, both big games for different reasons. How are you feeling ahead of these games and the Euros overall?

It’s a hard group with some exciting games to look forward too, it’s a finals tournament so there aren’t going to be any easy games ahead of us. Firstly, we look to preparation phases and take one step at a time so we know we are in the best position to go out and compete with the best teams in Europe and prove our place worthy.

9. How does the country take advantage of the tournament to inspire more girls to play football?

There is already so much work that goes in behind the scenes to try and inspire young girls to play. But I feel having us on the big stage will give role models to these younger kids that maybe we didn’t have growing up and with games being televised will give them a chance to watch back home!

10. Who were your sporting idols growing up?

My idols growing up range from Jörg Albertz to Joe Cole then Cristiano Ronaldo!

11. What made you get into playing football?

I was always a tomboy when I was a kid hanging around with the boys and they got me into it, before joining my local boys club!

12. Do you have a favourite goal that you’ve scored in your career?

I have a few but I scored one against Sweden in youth age groups from around 35-40 yards and we won 1-0 to qualify for the Second Phase so I think I’ll have to pick that!

Thank you to Lana Clelland for answering our questions.

Do you want to read more about the players fighting for a position in Scotland’s Euro squad? Or interviews with Hamilton’s Head Coach Gary Doctor and Jeanfield Swifts’ sharp-shooter Danni McGinley? Then buy Issue 10 here for just £1 

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