Emma Craig hopes that this summer’s Women’s Under-19s Euros can continue to inspire a young generation of footballers in Scotland.
Craig, who scored for Scotland in their opening match of the tournament, was heavily involved in the legacy project prior to the finals this summer.
The initiative aimed to engage and inspire young fans across the country, to enhance women’s and girls’ football in Scotland and ensure that the impact of the tournament is felt for years to come.
Roles within the Scottish FA were created solely to focus on leaving a legacy beyond the two weeks of the tournament – the first role of its kind at a UEFA Women’s Under-19s tournament.
Scotland players travelled to a number of schools in the lead up to this summer’s Euros during the legacy project. Promoting the tournament, encouraging football participation and providing coaching sessions.
As well as this, workshops were run across all six Scottish FA regions, specifically focusing on development and leadership.
The Scottish FA also launched a ‘20 Under 20’ programme which aimed to support and guide the next generation of female coaches in Scotland.
Emma was involved in taking the project to her old school in Paisley, West Primary School.
She revealed why both the legacy of the tournament and the goal meant so much to her:
“It was good to get out and raise awareness and try inspire a lot of young girls to get involved in football.
“You saw what the effect that the World Cup had this summer and the buzz it created in the country, hopefully the Women's Under-19s Euros can do the same and continue to increase participation in football.
“To have over 1200 fans at the first match was incredible, it means everything to us to have that support.”
Craig scored the equaliser for Scotland in their opening group game of the Women’s Under-19s Euros against France, which looked to have secured the hosts an important point.
France would go onto win 2-1 with an injury time winner, but Scotland impressed throughout the match.
“I’m from Paisley, so it was amazing to score in my hometown with lots of my family and friends there to support me. To turn around and see a full stand of over 1200 people celebrating was brilliant.
“It was a really good team performance and we were just unfortunate with the result.
“A performance like that gives us great confidence, especially against France who are one of the favourites this summer.”
Looking ahead to Friday’s match against Norway, Craig said:
“Our performance from the opening match against France has given us a real boost going into the match against Norway.”
“The supporters were excellent at the first match, so we’d love to see as many people as possible at the game against Norway to cheer us on.”
You can read our preview of Scotland v Norway HERE.
How to Watch
Every Scotland match at the Women’s Under-19s Euros will be available to watch via BBC Sport Online.
If you’d like to come and support Scotland, tickets can be purchased HERE. You can also purchase at the gate. Ticket prices start at just £2 for adults and £1 for concessions.
A limited number of sensory toy bags will be available on loan at each of the match venues. Sensory toys are for children who can experience sensory overload conditions such as autism; we hope these bags will enhance the experience of families attending the matches.
To find out about how you can collect a bag, contact points at the four venues are outlined below:
Written by Joshua Barrie