Algarve Cup
Scotland v Canada
Friday, 1 March 2019, kick-off 1.15pm
Estadio Municipal de Lagos, Portugal

Algarve Cup
Iceland v Scotland
Monday, 4 March 2019, kick-off 2pm
Estadio Municipal da Bela Vista, Portugal

Seeding match information TBC

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr has named a squad of 23 players for her side’s upcoming fixtures at the Algarve Cup, as the SWNT prepares to make its first appearance at the tournament since 2002.

Included in the playing group is Arsenal midfielder Kim Little, who returns to the international setup for the first time since suffering a broken leg in October.

New Bristol City signing Abi Harrison is included in a Scotland squad for the first time since January 2018, whilst Rachel Corsie returns to captain Kerr’s squad having missed January’s friendly matches in La Manga due to club commitments.

Elsewhere, there is a settled feel to the squad as preparations continue for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, with familiar faces such as Lee Alexander, Caroline Weir and Erin Cuthbert – Player of the Month for January in the FA Super League – all set to play their part in Portugal.

Including Scotland, seven of the 12 nations invited to compete at the Algarve Cup will be present in France this summer, providing Kerr’s side with an invaluable opportunity to test themselves against world-leading opposition ahead of their debut on the biggest stage.

Coach’s View

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr: “Kim’s been in really good form. She played a few games in a relatively short space of time last month and looked really sharp. I thought she was outstanding in the Continental Cup semi-final last week too. She’s raring to go. A player of her talent is definitely missed, not just on the pitch but around the squad too.

“We missed Rachel as a leader in La Manga. She’s a fantastic communicator and a vital link between the players and support staff. We definitely missed her experience and leadership qualities.

“Having the experience of our captain and vice-captain back, along with characters like Emma [Mitchell] and Lee [Alexander], adds real value to our team dynamic.

“Abi was unfortunate not be involved in La Manga. She’s gone down south and impressed for Bristol City – I was at her game last weekend and thought she did very well. There’s no doubt she’ll excel in that professional environment. She’s not had an opportunity with us for over a year, but she’s gone away and worked hard. She’s fully deserving of her opportunity and I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do.

Shelley Kerr

“It’s a real honour to be invited to the Algarve Cup. We’re ranked ninth out of the 12 teams competing this year, which gives an indication as to the level of opposition. It’s going to be tough for us, but it’s a tremendous opportunity.

“When I was still playing, it was always a tournament you wanted to be involved in. I remember how tough it was, but also having the opportunity to see some of the best sides in the world perform. At the time we were a B category team, so never got invited back [after their only appearance in 2002], but to have the opportunity to watch some of the other teams on our rest days was a real learning curve for us.

“Our objective in La Manga was to give as many players game time as possible – we used 20 players over the two matches. That objective now changes. It’s now about maximising the time we have and perfecting our tactics as a group. We need to make sure we’re competitive.”

Squad in full:

Lee Alexander (Glasgow City)
Jenna Fife (Hibernian)
Shannon Lynn  (Vittsjö GIK)    

Chloe Arthur (Birmingham City)
Jen Beattie (Manchester City)
Frankie Brown (Bristol City)
Rachel Corsie (Utah Royals)
Nicola Docherty (Glasgow City)
Joelle Murray (Hibernian)
Kirsty Smith (Manchester United)       

Lizzie Arnot (Manchester United)
Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City)
Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City)
Kim Little (Arsenal)
Jo Love (Glasgow City)
Christie Murray (Liverpool)
Caroline Weir (Manchester City)        

Fiona Brown (FC Rosengård)
Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea)
Claire Emslie (Manchester City)
Abi Harrison (Bristol City)
Zoe Ness (Durham)*
Jane Ross (West Ham United)

*replaced Emma Mitchell after her withdrawal from the squad