UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifier
Albania v Scotland
Friday 8 November, kick-off 5.10pm (UK time)
Elbasan Arena, Albania
Albania is a happy hunting ground for the Scotland Women’s National Team as they make their return to the place where history was made.
Last year a dramatic 2-1 win sealed a finish at the top of the qualifying group meaning Scotland were on their way to their first World Cup.
Now Scotland will be ending what has been a history-making year in Elbessan, Albania.
Shelley Kerr’s side go into the game on a high having won their first qualification game 8-0 against Cyprus in front of more than 6,000 fans at Easter Road.
Injuries since Shelley Kerr’s original squad announcement mean that Hannah Godfrey and Kirsty Hanson have both earned their first call-ups to the Scotland squad.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Hannah Godfrey replaced Sophie Howard and Manchester United forward Kirsty Hanson replaced Martha Thomas.
Rachael Boyle will potentially be involved in her first matchday squad since having a baby.
New call-up Kirsty Hanson joined up with the squad for the first time on Monday and has settled in well ahead of the second qualification match of the campaign.
She said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time in the squad so far, all of the players have been really welcoming and it’s been good to see some of the players I was in age grade teams with, again.
“All of the staff have been great with me and I can feel myself learning off the senior players already so that has been brilliant.
“Since I finished up with the under-19s in 2017 I’ve always wanted to play with the seniors so it has a dream come true.
“I was so excited when I found out and the first thing I did was tell my family and they were really proud.”
Although born in Halifax, England, Hanson still has strong connections with Scotland, with most of her family hailing from Fife.
“My Mum is Scottish so making her as well as my Gran and Grandad proud has been amazing. They’ve always said they’ve wanted to see me play for my country so I imagine they will all be watching the game on TV.
“I loved representing Scotland for the 17s and 19s, especially at the Euros in 2017. I played with Erin when she was younger and she’s definitely someone I look upto as she’s done so well so far in her career.
“I was in Nice for the England v Scotland game which was such an amazing occasion.
“I thought they did well overall during the tournament, against some tough teams and it’s definitely something to build on.
“There were so many people interested in the tournament and that was just amazing.”
Hanson, currently plying her trade at Manchester United alongside Jane Ross, Kirsty Smith and Lizzie Arnot, believes that representing such a global brand week-in week-out has helped prepare her for her next career challenge.
She said: “Playing at Manchester United has really helped with my transition to the national team. I’m used to playing at a high intensity, which has helped when I’ve made the step up to the national team.
“Ahead of the first session, I wasn’t nervous as I knew I was ready for it following all of my work at Manchester United.
“I’m really excited for the game against Albania. The team have prepared well so hopefully we transfer that onto the pitch.”
The first time Scotland played Albania was in 2017 when they defeated them 5-0 in Paisley with Fiona Brown, Jane Ross, Claire Emslie and Jane Ross on the scoresheet.
In their last encounter goals from Kim Little and Jane Ross gave Scotland the 2-1 win they needed to qualify for the World Cup.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live on BBC ALBA and there will be live commentary from BBC Scotland.
The 90 minutes will also be tweeted live by the @ScotlandNT Twitter account.