At the announcement of funding to allow Scotland’s domestic-based players to train full-time in preparation for the Euros this summer, we spoke to Anna Signeul about the Cyprus Cup.
To date, Scotland’s best finish has been fourth – which they achieved in 2011 and 2014, with Scotland famously beating England in 2011.
Signeul told us that she felt very good ahead of the Cyprus Cup, adding that “it felt really good when we were in Cyprus last time. Two really good games against Denmark, so I hope we can continue on that positive note.”
In January, Scotland played Denmark twice, drawing both games with lots of positives from the second halves. She added that she felt it was good that she was bringing 23 players to Cyprus, which provided strong competition – which in turn, meant every player knew they had to fight for their spot.
She stated that she would continue with the 4-4-1-1/4-4-2 formation that she returned to in September 2016 when Scotland beat Iceland 2-1. “No I think we’ve decided we should go back to playing a 4-4-2 and being really really solid at the back.”
Since the 21 players had been announced for the squad, defender Kirsty Smith and captain Gemma Fay has been called up to the squad after recovering from their respective injuries – meaning that there were now 23 players in the squad.
Signeul was delighted that both players had recovered, saying “it’s a shame Kirsty couldn’t be there back in January but it’s great to have her back.” But she returned to the previous point over player competition, pointing out that Rachel Harrison and Rachel McLauchlan were unlucky to miss out.
Another player who has been called up to several squads over the past two years, but yet to make her debut, is Zoe Ness. Despite missing out on the Cyrus Cup squad, she is someone clearly in Signeul’s thoughts, saying that she needed to regain fitness at Durham – but that “she has the potential to be the new Julie Fleeting.”
Glasgow City’s Leanne Ross was also looking forward to the Cyprus Cup, telling Tartan Kicks that she was “really looking forward to it. Obviously, we’re at the stage that we’re in pre-season, so its tough work, so as soon as the games come, that’s what you want as a player”
Scotland’s Cyprus Cup schedule
Scotland v New Zealand, Group B
Wednesday 1 March 2017, kick-off 2.30pm (12.30pm UK time)
Scotland v Korea Republic, Group B
Friday 3 March 2017, kick-off 5.30pm (3.30pm UK time)
Scotland v Austria, Group B
Monday 6 March 2017, kick-off 5.30pm (3.30pm UK time)
Wednesday 8 March 2017, kick-off TBC
Goalkeepers: Lee Alexander (Glasgow City), Gemma Fay (Glasgow City), Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo GIK)
Defenders: Jennifer Beattie (Manchester City), Frankie Brown (Bristol City), Rachel Corsie (Seattle Reign), Ifeoma Dieke (Vittsjo GIK), Emma Mitchell (Arsenal), Joelle Murray (Hibernian), Kirsty Smith (Hibernian)
Midfielders: Leanne Crichton (Notts County), Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea), Lisa Evans (Bayern München), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Kim Little (Arsenal), Joanne Love (Glasgow City), Christie Murray (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Leanne Ross (Glasgow City), Caroline Weir (Liverpool)
Forwards: Lizzie Arnot (Hibernian), Fiona Brown (Eskilstuna United), Lana Clelland (UPC Tavagnacco),
Jane Ross (Manchester City)