Scotland Squad Profiles For Euro Qualifiers Against Iceland and Belarus

The Scotland Women’s National Team squad was announced by manager Anna Signeul today for the upcoming UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 Qualifiers at home to Iceland and away to Belarus.

Tartan Kicks looks at the players in the squad:

Photo: Andy Buist The Scotland Starting XI against Macedonia in November 2015.
Photo: Andy Buist
The Scotland Starting XI against Macedonia in November 2015.

Goalkeepers

Lee Alexander
Club: Mallbackens IF
Age: 24 Caps: 0

Lee Alexander has yet to be capped for her country, and the 24-year-old keeper recently moved from SWPL champions Glasgow City to Swedish side Mallbackens IF; taking the opportunity to sign a professional contract – joining other Scottish players Eilish McSorley and Zoe Ness.

During her time at Glasgow City, she became a key player and helped the club make history as they reached the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League for the first time ever in the 2014/15 season.

She joined City in June 2011 from Hamilton Academical and during that time, she won five SWPLs, five Scottish Cups and four SWP League Cups.

For the qualifiers against Belarus and Macedonia, Alexander received her first ever call-up to the senior squad but failed to make an appearance. However, she did appear in the 2010 UEFA U19 Euro Championships and has a 100% clean sheet record in her three U17 caps.

She has established herself as Mallbackens’ Number One, and will be hoping to make her senior debut soon.

Gemma Fay – Captain
Club: Glasgow City
Age: 34 Caps: 191

The 34-year old Glasgow City keeper is currently sitting with an incredible 190 caps, and if Scotland reaches the Euros has a great chance of breaking the 200-mark. She made her international debut, aged 16 years old, in a draw against the Czech Republic in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualification campaign. Since then, she has become an ever-present fixture between the goalposts for Scotland.

When long-term captain Julie Fleeting was expecting her first child, Fay was named Scotland captain ahead of the 2009 Cyprus Cup (her first game as captain was a 2-0 loss to France) and has retained the armband ever since. In the seventh-placed play-off for that Cyprus Cup, Fay won her 100th cap (at that time the third person ever to do so) as Scotland beat Russia 2-1.

Photo: Andy Buist Gemma Fay against Spain
Photo: Andy Buist
Gemma Fay against Spain

On the 26th May 2012, in a friendly defeat to Sweden, Fay won her 142nd cap, breaking Pauline Hammill’s Scottish record.

Her 150th cap came in an agonising 2013 Euro play-offs against Spain, as in both legs, she saved a Spanish penalty. Her 149th cap came in the first leg as Scotland drew 1-1 at home, whilst her 150th came as Spain knocked Scotland out with a 122nd-minute winner.

She has also made her debut on the small screen, appearing in Sky Living’s drama Rubenesque.

Shannon Lynn
Club: Vittsjö GIK
Age: 30 Caps: 16

The 30-year old stopper plays for Swedish team Vittsjö GIK. She was born in Canada, but qualifies to play for Scotland due to her Scottish parents and to date has won 16 caps.

She began her club career in North America, playing for IPFW Mastodons, Fort Wayne Fever and FC Indiana – in her only season with Indiana she conceded just two goals as the club went on to win the 2009 USL W-League Central Conference.

In an attempt to break into the Scotland squad, she moved to the SWPL in 2009, joining Hibernian for whom she played until 2014. During this time, her performances saw her named as the 2011 Players’ Player of the Year.

When Chelsea Ladies had a keeping crisis in 2013 meaning they had no first-team goalkeeper, they signed Lynn on a temporary loan – she made three appearances until Carly Telford recovered from her injury. Lynn joined her current club; Vittsjö GIK in 2014.

She made her debut for Scotland in a friendly against Switzerland on the 8th June 2010, after replacing Gemma Fay at half-time.

At the 2011 Cyprus Cup, she made her first start in Scotland’s historic win over England – only the second time that had happened and the first since 1977.

Defenders

Jennifer Beattie
Club: Manchester City
Age: 25 Caps: 99 Goals: 22

This versatile defender currently sits on 99 caps, having made her senior debut back on the 5th March 2008 against the USA, replacing Leanne Ross in the 68th minute. Later on in 2008, she was part of the squad that competed in the UEFA Women’s U19 Championship, finishing bottom of their group without a win.

During her international career, she has scored 22 goals including an incredible four goals against Northern Ireland on the 5th February 2012 in a friendly. Her first senior goal for Scotland came in a 4-1 win over Portugal on the 3rd May 2008 in a qualifier for the 2009 Euros.

Beattie began her club career with Queen’s Park where she played in the 2007-08 SWP League Cup Final defeat to Hibs, before moving to Celtic in 2008. In July 2009, she moved south of the border, joining Arsenal and scored her first goals for the London club as her hat-trick saw them come from 2-0 down, to beat Chelsea 3-2.

Her next move saw her joining Montpellier HSC in France, but after two seasons, she returned to England to join Manchester City Women. This winter she joined fellow Scot, Kim Little on loan at Melbourne Victory, helping them to win the 2015-16 W-League.

Photo: Andy Buist Jennifer Beattie's headed goal against Macedonia
Photo: Andy Buist
Jennifer Beattie’s headed goal against Macedonia

Rachel Corsie
Club: Seattle Reign
Age: 26 Caps: 83 Goals: 16

The 26-year old defender captained the Scotland U19 side at the 2008 UEFA Women’s U19 Championship and went on to make her senior debut in the 2009 Cyprus Cup against France on the 5th March. She has gone on to win 82 caps, scoring 16 times.

Corsie began her career with Aberdeen Ladies, before joining Glasgow City in 2008. She spent five years at City, winning numerous trophies and playing in the Women’s Champions League.

She spent 2014, playing for WSL 1 side Notts County before joining Seattle Reign where fellow Scot, Kim Little plays. In the 2015 season, Seattle Reign were runners-up in the National Women’s Soccer League Play-Off Final. After this, she played the rest of the 2015 season on loan with Glasgow City, helping them winning the Scottish Women’s Cup and playing in their Champions League defeat to Chelsea.

Ifeoma Dieke
Club: Vittsjö GIK
Age: 35 Caps: 109 Goals: 0

Dieke made her Scottish debut back in January 2004 in a friendly against Greece, being eligible to play for America, Nigeria or Scotland. She has gone on to win 108 caps for Scotland, as well as playing for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics Women’s Football Tournament.

In 1999, she won a scholarship at Florida International University which saw her play for the FIU Golden Panthers. After graduating, she joined Atlanta Beat in 2003 but after the league folded, she had spells with Cypriot clubs and Swedish sides QBIK and Kristianstads DFF.

Dieke moved back to America in 2009, joining Chicago Red Stars for two years. After a spell with Boston Breakers, and a loan with Cypriot club Apollon Limassol – she joined her current club in Sweden, Vittsjö GK, for whom she captains.

Emma Mitchell
Club: Arsenal
Age: 23 Caps: 44 Goals: 7

Mitchell scored what looked like it would be the winning goal in the friendly against Spain, until the last-gasp equaliser. The 23-year old, who can play in defence or attack, made her senior debut in a 1-1 draw with France on the 18th May 2011, and despite giving away a penalty, she was praised for her performance by Scotland boss Anna Signeul. Her first international goal was in Scotland’s 1-1 friendly draw with Iceland on the 4th August 2012. She equalised in the second leg of Scotland’s 2013 Euro play-off game against Spain which sent the tie into extra-time – before Scotland were knocked out in the cruellest of ways. She played for Scotland at U19 and U17 level, captaining both as well as appearing in the 2010 UEFA Women’s U19 Championship.

Mitchell joined Glasgow City in 2008, and in her five years at the club developed the knack of scoring – as well as winning trophies. She signed a professional contract in 203 with German side SGS Essen – but after four months, she moved to English side Arsenal Ladies where she has played ever since. In May 2016, she helped Arsenal win the 2015-16 FA Women’s Cup.

Photo: Andy Buist Emma Mitchell against Spain
Photo: Andy Buist
Emma Mitchell against Spain

Joelle Murray
Club: Hibernian
Age: 29 Caps: 36 Goals: 1

The Hibernian captain has made 36 appearances for her country, having made her debut on the 26th August 2007 as Scotland beat Belgium 3-2. Her one international goal came in a 3-1 friendly win over Northern Ireland on the 12th May 2009.

Joelle was part of the squad that qualified for the UEFA Women’s U19 Championship for the first time ever in 2005, although that ended in disappointment as Scotland lost all three group games.

She has spent her club career at Hibernian, helping them qualify for the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League – as well as winning the Scottish Cup in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010, the 2005-06 and 2006-07 SWPL titles and the 2007-08 and 2011 SWP League Cups.

Kirsty Smith
Club: Hibernian
Age: 22 Caps: 13 Goals: 0

The 22-year old Hibernian left-back has won 12 Scottish caps, making her debut in the 2-0 defeat to Netherlands in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualification Play-offs. Since then, she has made regular appearances for the senior squad, representing them at the 2015 Cyprus Cup as well as playing Macedonia home and away in the current qualification campaign.

She has represented the national team at U19 level, making 17 appearances as well as five appearances for the U17 side.

Midfielders

Leanne Crichton
Club: Notts County
Age: 28 Caps: 38 Goals: 3

The 28-year old midfielder won the first of her 37 caps back in September 2006 against Belgium. She won her next cap in 2009 and had to wait until 2013 to win her third and fourth caps in back-to-back friendlies against the USA. Since then, she has been an integral part of Anna Signeul’s team, playing in the 2015 World Cup qualifiers.

She was also part of the squad that qualified for the 2005 UEFA Women’s U19 championship.

Her first club was Whitehill Welfare (now known as Spartans) where she began playing as a forward. In 2007, she joined Glasgow City briefly, before moving to their rivals Celtic. After four years, she moved to Hibernian for one season, before making her return to City in 2012.

It was her form at City that saw the club win their first of four consecutive domestic trebles, which saw her recalled to the Scotland squad. After continuing to win trophies at City, as well as reaching the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League, she moved down south to Notts County in 2015 where she suffered the agony of losing two domestic finals.

Erin Cuthbert
Club: Glasgow City
Age: 17 Caps: 0 Goals: 0

The exciting Glasgow City attacking midfielder receives her first ever call-up to the senior squad on the back of some highly impressive performances over the past two seasons – including her player of the match performances in City’s SWPL Cup Semi-Final win over Aberdeen.

She joined Glasgow City from Rangers in January 2015 and helped them win a fourth domestic treble in a row, which included their ninth SWPL consecutive title. Her performances saw her named as City’s Young Player of the Year in 2015.

Erin has been capped at both Under-17 and Under-19 levels – and played a key part in Scotland Under-19s’ Qualification campaign, scoring two goals.

Kim Little
Club: Seattle Reign
Age: 25 Caps: 115 Goals: 46

Photo: Andy Buist Kim Little receives her award from UEFA for winning over 100 caps
Photo: Andy Buist
Kim Little receives her award from UEFA for winning over 100 caps

A case can be made for Kim Little being the best player in the world. Her Seattle Reign colleague (US keeper) Hope Solo said of Little, “Her passing and vision and technical skill are, I believe, the best in the world.” She has been nominated for BBC’s 2016 Women’s World Footballer of the Year.

At just 25 years old, she’s already won 115 caps for Scotland and has scored 46 goals, having made her debut at 16 in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Japan on the 14th February 2007. Her first goal came at the 2008 Cyprus Cup in Scotland’s 3-2 defeat to Russia. Kim’s 50th cap came in the 2010 Cyprus Cup in Scotland’s historic win over England where she scored the opening goal. She reached her century of caps on the 13th September 2014 as Scotland beat Faroe Islands 9-0 in a World Cup qualifier – and she marked the occasion with a goal. Kim is also a former captain of Scotland’s U19 team.

Along with fellow Scottish player Ifeoma Dieke, she played in the 2012 Olympics Women’s Football Team for Great Britain, the only two non-English players in the squad. She played in all five of GB’s games.

Having come through the Buchan Girls youth set up, she joined Hibernian’s youth team in 2005 – before progressing to their first team in 2006, making her debut in the Champions League against Espanyol. During the 2006-07 season with the Edinburgh club, she won all three of the available domestic trophies, winning every single game in the league. During her 48 appearances for Hibs, she scored an incredible 88 goals.

In 2008, she made the move down south to join Arsenal Ladies, where she continued to have incredible success, winning the league four times (including the first two Women’s Super Leagues), the FA Cup three times and the League Cup four times. Her final league win, 2012, saw Arsenal go the season unbeaten.

Little moved to America to Seattle Reign in 2014, joining her ex-Arsenal boss Laura Harvey who had made the same move the year before – and scored twice during her debut for her new club. In both of her two seasons, she won the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Shield, before going on to lose the play-off.

This winter, she joined fellow Scot, Jennifer Beattie on loan at Melbourne Victory, helping them to win the 2015-16 W-League

Jo Love
Club: Glasgow City
Age: 30 Caps: 168 Goals: 12

The 30-year old midfielder has won 167 senior caps, making her debut on the 1st March 2002 in the Algarve Cup in a 3-0 defeat to Canada. At the age of just 25, she won her 100th cap in a 1-0 loss to Canada in the 2011 Cyprus Cup.

She has become a critical part of Anna Signeul’s side and has scored 12 goals, including five in the 2017 Euro Qualifiers.

Her senior career began at the age of 15 when she joined Kilmarnock Ladies. After a brief spell with Doncaster Rovers Belles, she moved to Celtic where she spent four years. In 2010, she moved to her current club Glasgow City where she has won numerous trophies and played in Champions League.

Leanne Ross
Club: Glasgow City
Age: 34 Caps: 120 Goals: 8

The 34-year old midfielder, who can also play at right-back, has made 119 caps to date, making her debut at the age of 24 on the 26th April 2006 in a 1-0 win over Switzerland – playing at left-back. She became a regular in the squad, making her 50th cap in a 3-3 draw with Switzerland on the 5th June 2010.

She has scored 8 goals for her country, her first in a 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier against Georgia on the 27th March 2010.

Her career began with Newburgh Ladies, who she played for between 1998 and 2007 when she joined her current club Glasow City. Unfortunately, after she left Newburgh, the club folded.

At Glasgow City, she has won 21 domestic trophies as well as starring on the European stage. When Rachel Corsie left City in 2014, Ross was named as the club’s captain.

Caroline Weir
Club: Liverpool
Age: 20 Caps: 26 Goals: 5

The newly signed Liverpool played has played for Scotland’s senior side 25 times, making her debut in Scotland’s 3-2 friendly win over Iceland on the 1st June 2013. She went on to play a part towards the end of Scotland’s qualifying campaign for the 2015 World Cup, scoring her first national goal in Scotland’s 9-0 win over the Faroe Islands on the 13th September 2014.

She has so far scored five goals for Scotland, including two in the current Euro Qualification campaign.

Weir also had a successful career in youth internationals, captaining Scotland U19s to the 2014 UEFA Women’s U19 Championship, scoring in the 2-0 win over Belgium – the first time Scotland had won a game at this level.

She progressed through the Hibernian youth system, making her debut for the senior side in May 2011. In 2013, Weir moved down south, joining Arsenal Ladies where she won the 2013-14 FA Women’s Cup. Her stay with Arsenal ended in July 2015 when she joined Bristol Academy – but after the club was relegated from the top flight, she joined Liverpool in January 2016.

Forwards

Lizzie Arnot
Club: Hibernian
Age: 20 Caps: 6 Goals: 0

The 20-year old Hibs star made her senior debut in Scotland’s 4-0 friendly defeat to Norway on the 17th September 2015 – and has played in three of the 2017 European Qualifiers.

She has made 28 appearances for the Scotland U19 side, including playing in the 2014 UEFA Women’s U19 Championship – scoring 11 times.

Arnot is a key part of Hibernian’s attacking threat, playing on the left-wing.

Lisa Evans
Club: FC Bayern Munich
Age: 23 Caps: 48 Goals: 12

The 23-year old pacey forward’s style of play was once compared to Thierry Henry by the then-Glasgow City boss Eddie Wolecki-Black. Having starred for Scotland at the U19 and U17 levels, she made her senior debut in Scotland’s 2-2 draw with Wales on the 27th October 2011 in the 2013 Euro Qualification Campaign.

Evans has gone on to win 47 senior caps, scoring 12 goals. Her first goal came on the 5th February 2012, as Scotland beat Northern Ireland 5-1 in a friendly match. During this Euro qualification campaign, she scored twice. In the 2014 Cyprus Cup, her four goals (including a hat-trick against the Netherlands) saw her named as the tournament’s top scorer.

She joined Glasgow City in 2008, and her performances in the Champions League got the notice of German side Turbine Potsdam who offered her a professional contract in 2012. After three years, she moved to Potsdam’s rivals FC Bayern Munich. She helped Bayern to the 2015-16 Frauen-Bundesliga Title.

Christie Murray
Club: Celtic
Age: 26 Caps: 41 Goals: 3

The 25-year old has made 41 senior appearances for Scotland, scoring three goals. After captaining the Scotland U19 team, including in the 2008 UEFA Women’s U19 Championship, she made her debut in the 2010 Cyprus Cup in Scotland’s 3-0 defeat to New Zealand on the 1st March 2010. Her first goal for the senior side came on the 5th April 2012, coming off the bench to score the winner in their 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in the 2013 UEFA Euro Qualifiers.

Murray can either play as a creative midfielder or as a forward and was part of the first intake into the Scottish FA’s Women’s National Academy at the University of Stirling.

She played for Celtic between 2007 and 2011 when she joined Glasgow City. After her time at City, she moved to Arsenal in 2014 – but after one year, she joined fellow WSL 1 side Bristol Academy. After Bristol was relegated to the WSL 2, she was released from her contract.

In March 2016, she re-joined Celtic and scored on her debut against Rangers.

Zoe Ness
Club: Mallbackens IF
Age: 20 Caps: 0 Goals: 0

The 19-year old forward has yet to make her senior debut but was part of the squad in the recent friendlies against Spain and Sweden.

She has represented Scotland numerous times at youth levels: making 12 U17 appearances, scoring 11 goals – as well as four games for the U16 team. The majority of her caps have come for the U19 team, winning 25 caps and scoring 19 goals. One of these goals came in Scotland’s historic 2-0 win over Belgium in the 2014 UEFA Women’s U19 Championship.

In January 2015, Ness moved from WSL 2 side Durham Ladies to the Swedish club Mallbackens IF – signing her first ever professional contract.

Jane Ross
Cub: Manchester City
Age: 26 Caps: 92 Goals: 44

Photo: Andy Buist Jane Ross scores against Macedonia
Photo: Andy Buist
Jane Ross scores against Macedonia

The 26-year old striker has won 91 caps, scoring 42 goals for her country. At the U19 level, she represented Scotland at the 2008 UEFA Women’s U19 Championship where they lost all three group games.

She made her senior debut on the 10th March during the 2009 Cyprus Cup in Scotland’s 3-0 defeat to England. Her first goal came later in the year, on the 14th August when Denmark beat them 5-2 in a friendly.

Ross has become a key part of the Scotland team, and in the 2017 Euro Qualifiers she scored six goals, including four against Macedonia at Paisley. At the time of writing this, she is the overall top scorer in the whole Qualification campaign with eight goals.

She began her club career with Paisley Saints Ladies, and in 2006, she joined Glasgow City. After scoring 157 goals over six years, winning six SWPL titles, three Scottish Cups and three SWP League Cups – she signed her first professional contract with Vittsjö GIK in 2013.

After her time in Sweden, she moved back to Britain, joining Manchester City in November 2015 on a two-year contract.

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