Women's International Challenge Match
France vs Scotland
Stade Marcel Picot, Nancy, 9pm kick-off
Thursday 28th May 2015

Leanne Crichton believes that next week’s match against France will pit Scotland against one of the favourites at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Scotland will provide the opposition for France’s final preparation for next month’s tournament in Canada, and the Notts County midfielder thinks that they’ll be raring to go in-front of a big crowd in Nancy.

Speaking exclusively to the Scottish FA website, Crichton said:

“They’ve been preparing for the World Cup for a long time, so no doubt they’ll be on top of their game. Their squad for Canada has been selected, so we’ll be facing their strongest side.

“For us, the match provides a really tough test against a team that, for many, will be one of the favourites to win the World Cup this year. It’ll be a great fixture to play in”

“France has had a large support for a long time, and with this match being their send-off, it will not be any different. I’m sure it is an environment that we can thrive in. “

Scotland’s EURO 2017 qualifying group was confirmed last month, with Anna Signeul’s side paired up against Iceland, Belarus, Slovenia and FYR Macedonia. It’s a draw which, albeit challenging, is one that Crichton believes Scotland can ensure qualification to the finals in The Netherlands from.

“It will be competitive without a doubt,” Crichton said.

“In the last few years we’ve been unfortunate in the latter stages. This group will bring it’s own challenges, but we need to set our own standards and treat every game in the same way.

“If we do that, we have a good chance of getting out of our group and qualifying.” 

The midfielder joined FA WSL outfit Notts County from Glasgow City earlier this year, and Crichton is enjoying life in England’s top-tier.

She said: “Before I moved I was a little bit apprehensive about moving away from home and my family, but it has been a lot smoother than I thought it would be.  I’ve settled in well into a great group of players, who’ve been accommodating and created a really positive environment.

“Earlier in the season it took us a wee bit of time to gel because we had a few new players in the squad, but we’ve started to click now and we are all signing off the same hymn sheet.

County have reached this year’s FA Women’s Cup Final, with the Scotland midfielder playing in the dismantling of Everton at Goodison Park in the semi-final. This year’s final will be historic, as it will be the first time it will be held at Wembley Stadium, although this was not something that played on Crichton’s mind during the tournament.

“To be honest, in the build-up to the matches in each of the rounds, I didn’t think too much about it,“ she said.
 
“As a player, you take each game as it comes. The FA Cup Final, and playing at Wembley, is huge. It’s the national stadium in England, and for a lot of the English players it’s a big deal.

“For me, I’ve only ever seen matches from Wembley on TV, so to be playing and hopefully making an impact there would definitely be a big thing in my career.“