Shelley Kerr has named her first ever Scotland squad for the upcoming friendly against Hungary on the 14th September.
Since the Euros, where previous Head Coach Anna Signeul stood down, three key players have retired from international duty. Gemma Fay, who won 203 caps for her country, stretching from 1998 to lead her country into the debut major tournament. Fay’s retirement, who has captained Scotland since 2009, means that Kerr will have to name her new captain.
Glasgow City’s Leanne Ross won 133 caps, scoring nine goals across her international career.
The third retirement, Ifeoma Dieke won 123 caps and, as well as representing Scotland at the Euros, she also played for Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Kerr has been unable to call up Lizzie Arnot, Jennifer Beattie and Kim Little who are all still recovering from their injuries that kept them out of the Euros. There is good news as Jane Ross, who picked up an injury against England, has recovered to be named.
Kerr has a difficult choice in who will be given the chance between the sticks. Shannon Lynn was the second-choice keeper behind Fay, and has shown to be a reliable choice, but will Kerr prefer to choose a more long-term choice? Celtic’s Megan Cunningham has been called up, looking to add to her two caps or the other choice is Glasgow City’s Lee Alexander who has experience of playing in some huge UEFA Women’s Champions League games. It is still remarkable that Alexander has yet to make her international debut.
There are no real surprises in the defence. Hibernian’s Rachel Small, who can also play in midfield, returns as she looks to win her first cap since Scotland played the USA in February 2013. Chloe Arthur, who impressed in Euros at the left-back retains her place. Apart from the addition of Small and retirement of Dieke, there are no major changes from the Euros.
It is likely that the Kerr era will be built around the talents of Erin Cuthbert, the highlight of the Euro campaign. Hibernian’s Lucy Graham is called up and will be hoping to make her debut, having been called up several times. She’s been a key part of Hibs’ midfield and has the potential to make a big impact on the Scotland team.
Up front, Claire Emslie has been recalled. The new Manchester City signing was played against Denmark in January, and she will be hoping to impress against Hungary to keep her place in the squad.
There are four players that, if there are no injuries, you would expect to be in the squad: Emma Mitchell, Beattie, Little and Arnot. How they would fit into the squad is interesting (if they would), but there are also questions of systems and style. Scotland has a lot of exciting young players, caught between the Under-19s and the senior squad, looking to break into the squad – for example, Abi Harrison.
With just one friendly before the World Cup Qualifiers begin, Kerr doesn’t have much time to experiment. But although the personnel has not changed too much, a new system and philosophy could see a different side born.