International Challenge Match
France v Scotland
Thursday, 28th May 2015
Stade Marcel Picot, Nancy, France
Scotland will continue their high-calibre preparations for the start of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 qualifying campaign with a fixture against World Cup-bound France next month.
'Test ourselves against the best'
For Scotland’s national coach, intense preparation against some of the world’s leading teams is a continuation of the Scottish FA Performance Strategy’s philosophy of Best v Best. It is also designed to ensure Scotland can go one better and qualify for a major tournament finals after successive play-off defeats in World Cup and European Championship qualifying.
“I believe we are improving all the time and the only way to continue that improvement is to test ourselves against the best teams possible, as regularly as possible,” said Anna.
“While we are disappointed not to be going to the World Cup in Canada we are committed to bridging that gap and taking the final step to qualify for a major tournament. That is why we have chosen these games. They will be very tough and we will have to be at our best against two groups of players who will be determined to put themselves into contention for places in Canada.
“Our motivation is to show that we are capable of competing against that standard of opposition, which we have shown we are, and that will give us a good foundation for the start of the UEFA Women’s Euro qualifiers. We are absolutely committed and motivated to be in Holland in 2017.
“The players and team have developed so much over the past couple of years, we have many talented young players in the squad, we feel it is our time to be playing on one of the biggest stages for women’s football. Playing top class opponents like France will challenge the players and support us in our quest to be at the Finals in 2017.
Philippe Bergeroo, the French Head Coach, confirmed that Scotland style and reputation made them a perfect choice for their final preparations for Canada, especially with a view to their opening group match against England.
“The game against Scotland will be our last one before the World Cup so it will be very important for us.
“I wanted to play against Scotland for two reasons: first, we met that team last year at the Cyprus Cup and the match [a 1-1 draw] was very tough. I was impressed by the Scottish players and their tactics so I know it will be a very good opposition before the World Cup.
“The second reason is that Scotland’s style is similar to England’s. They will be our first opponent at the World Cup and I think it will be a good exercise against a style that will be close to England’s.”