5 reasons for Scotland to get excited about the Women’s World Cup

Jim Leighton was still in the Scotland squad the last time the men's side went to a World Cup. Jim f**kin' Leighton. It's time to give the women a chance.

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It’s less than two weeks until the Women’s World Cup kicks off in France and it’s safe to say we’re all getting a little bit excited in Scotland. Over 25,000 fans set to pack Hampden on Tuesday night for Scotland’s final warm-up game against Jamaica, which is on course to be the highest attended international friendly there for five years.

Google translate has absolutely no idea what the French version of “here we, here we, here we f*cking go” is, but World Cup fever has gripped the nation and here’s a few reasons why:

PAISLEY, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 13: Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr looks on during the Women’s International Friendly match between Scotland and United States at The Simple Digital Arena on November 13, 2018 in Paisley, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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We’re in a major tournament

Not since 1998 has Scotland played in a World Cup – the biggest of footballing stages. Time and time again we’ve fallen short, often in spectacular style, so it’s a rare treat for the Tartan Army to be able to pack their bags full of Tennent’s and sun cream and head off to mingle with football’s elite.

WALSALL, ENGLAND – MAY 25: Steph Houghton of England arrives at the stadium prior to the International Friendly between England Women and Denmark Women at Bank’s Stadium on May 25, 2019 in Walsall, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

We have England in the group

Let’s not beat around the bush. As a Scot, nothing is more appealing than the thought of getting it right up the English. Shelley Kerr’s squad have the chance to join the long list of Scottish legends. We’ve had a lot of recent sporting success in this department, with Scotland defeating the auld enemy in cricket, rugby and basketball to name a few.

It could have been even more if Stuart Armstrong had just punted it, but that’s another story. Not since 1314 have we been such underdogs but – like the Battle of Bannockburn before us – I believe we’ll get the job done. FREEDOM.

We have a talented squad

Over on the Men’s side, we have Liverpool’s Andy Robertson and not much else. On the Women’s side, the squad is littered with players from England’s elite sides. Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert has picked up several awards this season, including the Champion’s League goal of the season and Chelsea Women’s PotY.

It’s not just the English teams hoarding all our talent either – five of Kerr’s squad are playing regular European football with Scotland’s Glasgow City too.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – OCTOBER 17: Leanne Crichton of Glasgow City is challenged by Vicky Losada of Barcelona during the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Barcelona and Glasgow City at the Mini Estadi on October 17, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

It points to a bright future

The Scottish FA deserve massive credit for how they’ve grown the Women’s game in Scotland over the last decade or so. Having a team at the World Cup is only going to help increase awareness of the game and inspire the next generation.

Celtic announced plans to go full-time with their Women’s team too, showing further reasons for us Scots to be optimistic about our Women’s game.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 26: Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, joins Shelley Kerr head coach of Scotland at Hampden Park during the announcement of a funding agreement for the Scotland WomenÕs National Team following qualification for their first FIFA World Cup on September 26, 2018 in Glasgow,Scotland. The funding of around £80,000 will allow the team to train full time in the lead up to the 2019 FIFA World Cup tournament in France. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

We can watch it in the pub

It’s summer, not that that means much in Scotland, and the World Cup is in France. The time zone gods have been kind, meaning there’s no need to quit the day job just yet. A 5pm kick off in our opening game v England is perfect timing for the masses to charge from the office to the pub.

It’s no coincidence that the new Melon flavour of MD2020 has just arrived on our shelves either.

All things considered it’s an exciting time for football in Scotland. Steve Clarke’s arrival looks positive for the men, although he’s rightly said himself it’s all about the women’s team this Summer.

Shelley Kerr and her team are massive underdogs, but this is something we thrive on and for Scots, just being involved is a big enough success. Long may it continue.

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