UEFA Elite Round
Scotland v Germany
Wednesday, 20 March, kick-off 1pm
UEFA Elite Round
Scotland v Norway
Saturday, 23 March, kick-off 4.30pm
UEFA Elite Round
Scotland v Republic of Ireland
Tuesday, 26 March, kick-off 2.30pm
Ainslie Park, Edinburgh
Scotland Women’s Under-17s will be looking to take full advantage of a home draw for their UEFA Elite Round, as they continue their pursuit of a place at the 2019 UEFA Women’s Under-17s European Championship.
Pauline MacDonald’s side play host to three of the continent’s leading women’s under-17s teams in Edinburgh next week, with the group winners booking their place at this summer’s tournament in Bulgaria.
It would be a first appearance at the finals for a Scotland Women’s Under-17s outfit since 2014, where a team containing future SWNT internationals Erin Cuthbert and Abi Harrison was eliminated at the group stage.
However, with last year’s runners-up Germany in a tough group, home advantage could prove crucial to the efforts of MacDonald’s team.
Supporters can attend all of the matches in the UEFA Elite Round for free, with Oriam and Ainslie Park set to play host to the group fixtures.
A squad of 20 players will be pulling on their country’s jersey in Elite Round action this week, as MacDonald’s side looks to find a winning formula for their three group matches.
The playing group consists solely of Scotland-based players, including Glasgow City defender Carly Girasoli and Dundee United goalkeeper Aaliyah-Jay Meach.
Kathleen McGovern and Phillippa McCallum return to the squad, the pair having missed February’s friendlies due to injury.
Scotland Women’s Under-17s head coach Pauline MacDonald: “We’re really excited and we’re looking forward to it. We’ll be testing ourselves against some of the best countries in Europe – Germany qualified for the World Cup last summer and made it to the quarter-finals, whilst they were also beaten in the final of last year’s European Championships. They’ll be a hugely challenging opponent.
“Norway topped their Qualification Round group with three wins from three, nine goals scored and only one against, so they’ll be another tough opponent. We’ve played against the Republic of Ireland a few times in recent years too, so we know they’ll be well-organised and tenacious. It’s a massive learning and development opportunity for the girls.”
#SCO17s and #SCOW17s are both in UEFA Elite Round qualifying action on home soil later this month.— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) March 13, 2019
Entry to all of the matches is free, so come along if you can and support the teams.#YoungTeam #OurGirlsOurGamehttps://t.co/1nvieASL86
“Squad depth is going to be key for us. All three opponents will pose different challenges, but each game is going to be played at a high intensity. Rotating the squad and utilising the new five-sub rule will be important. We’ve got great faith in the 20 players we’ve selected and we want to give them all the opportunity to contribute.
“Playing at home is really exciting for us. I think it’ll be great, not only for the players but for everyone who supports the girls’ and women’s game. People can come along and get a true reflection of the level of opposition we play against. I think, from a coaching perspective too, it’s nice not to have to travel. It can help our preparation and we hope we can have the players as best prepared as possible.
“We’d encourage everyone to come along and get behind the girls – hopefully we can fill the stand at Oriam.”