Erin Cuthbert talks COVID, uni life and aiming to reach a Champions League Final

In one of her most revealing interviews to date Erin Cuthbert sat down with the Official Scotland National Team Podcast to cover a variety of subjects in the lead up to an exciting end to the season with Chelsea.

Listen now

With a possible quadruple on the cards, Cuthbert has her sights set on silverware in the coming months but at the tail end of last year she was hit with a setback when she tested positive for COVID-19. Forced to isolate by herself in London over Christmas, a virtual Christmas dinner with her family was the order of the day rather than being able to head back to Irvine to see them in person.

She said: “I was so shocked when I tested positive. I’m a fit, athletic individual and it affected me so it got me thinking how it would impact somone who’s not as fit and healthy as I am. It made me realise how bad it can be, especially for people who have health complications or are a little older.

"I’m lucky enough that I get tested twice a week to identify a positive test. My symptoms were quite mild but there was part of me that thought, ‘am I actually going to be able to play football again and feel OK’ and ‘if I can’t walk up the stairs without being out of breath, how will I play 90 minutes!’ That all runs through your head.”

Also in the podcast, Cuthbert spoke about her ambitions to run a business after football and put her two degrees to good use, one of which she’s joined by Jürgen Klinsmann in the classroom.

She takes time to reflect on her footballing journey and walking out proud as punch as a Scotland mascot.

She said: “I was a mascot for a game in 2005 or 2006 at McDiarmid Park. I felt like I was the captain as I was walking out with Julie Fleeting. I was really tiny back then and it was an incredible experience.

“I went on the pitch at half-time to do keepie-uppies. I’ve got an infamous picture of me holding the ball on my neck. I remember I had a wee autograph book where I stuck on a picture of the squad. I printed it out in colour which was a big deal as we usually only did black and white in our house.

“I glued it on and put ‘Erin’s Autograph Book’ on it, and waited about at the end of the game to meet all the team. It’s amazing to think I’m playing with those players now like Kim Little. It’s a bit surreal but it shows that anything is possible. Even though it seems so far away, it might actually be closer that you think.”

Scotland will find out their World Cup Qualifying opponents on Friday, 30 April and Erin is hoping the squad will be back at the major stage soon following their Euro qualifying disappointment.

“We lacked something in the EURO campaign and we can’t go into the World Cup matches playing the way we have," she said. We’re going to have to change something as we were heartbroken not to get to the EUROS. It’s sad when you see the likes of Northern Ireland qualifying as our team is so good. As happy as I am that another home nation is there, it should have been us.

“We’ve only got ourselves to blame that we’re not there. The only response that we can have is to get our heads down and train harder than ever. We need to show a big response going into the World Cup campaign and capture everyone’s attention again.

“The tournament is in Australia and New Zealand. If that doesn’t inspire you then I really don’t know what will. I’m not ready to miss another major tournament with the squad we’ve got.”

Listen to the latest Official Scotland Podcast now