Having never qualified for a major finals before, Scotland Women are on the verge of something special.
In their quest to reach the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 in Holland, Anna Signeul’s team have been on form throughout the campaign, winning six out of seven games so far.
Before their final group match against Iceland on Tuesday 20th September, kick-off 5pm (local time), in Reykjavik other games will take place and depending on results, they could secure their place at the Euro championships next year without having kicked a ball.
The first game which could secure their fate is on Thursday 15 September, when Belgium need to pick up points in Serbia ahead of their final group match against England. The next evening, Finland, Russia and Italy all must reign victorious to have any chance of pipping Scotland as one of the best six group runners-up.
Talking about the various permutations, Anna Signeul said: “It would be fantastic if we could have already qualified before we travel to Iceland.
“But we need to be very focussed regardless and go to Iceland to take at least a point.
“I am absolutely confident that we can do that. They are a physical team which will be a challenge for us but it’s time for us to step up and I hope that we have learnt a lot from the game in June against Iceland. We were absolutely devastated after that 4-0 loss and we want to show that we are much better than that.”
Within the squad named for one of the biggest matches in Scottish women’s football’s history, Signeul has included a number of stalwarts, five of whom have more than 100 caps for their country.
The head coach herself, has been involved in Scottish football for the last 11 years and she stressed that qualification would be a just reward for everyone’s efforts.
He said: “For some of the players who have been in the squad for as long as I have, it’s been what we’ve wanted to achieve the whole time.
“Some of them have been in the squad for 19 years and the reason they are so dedicated is that they are so desperate to go to a major finals."
Young striker Abby Harrison has had a meteoric rise and is in the squad for the first time. Signeul is excited to see what the player can do, having helped her development personally.
She said: “Abby Harrison has come straight from the under-19s and has been with us since she was young. I coached her in her first game, against Germany for the under-15s.
“She came on in that game and scored a goal. She is very direct and extremely focussed. She has a great attitude on the pitch and that has allowed her to captain the under-19s, having been on the bench for the under-15s.
Now she has a chance in the ‘A’ squad, after scoring a hat-trick against Celtic at the weekend.
“It’s good to take in new players to allow them to learn.
“We’ll miss Rachel Corsie who is a physical player and will be a loss along with Frankie Brown, however this gives room for younger players to step up and show what they can do.”
After many years of hard work, Anna is hoping it can all come to fruition, allowing her side to make history and give the country the chance to back Scotland at a major competition once more.
She said: “I’m really proud of the players because of how much they put into football.
“It’s their first priority and they give more than 15 hours to football as well as still going to uni doing their job.
“I hope they can get a good reward in the end, by qualifying.”