UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Qualifier
Scotland v Albania
Friday, 23 October 2020, kick-off 7.30pm
Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh
Live on BBC ALBA
It’s been a long seven-month wait but finally the Scotland Women’s National Team are back in action.
This Friday, Scotland continue their quest for the EUROS, which has now been pushed back to the summer of 2022.
Scotland have only played two matches in the group so far racking up 13 goals in two games thanks to thumping 8-0 and 5-0 wins over Cyprus and Albania.
Since the squad was named three changes have been made with Kim Little being replaced by Zoe Ness having picked up an injury.
Rachel McLauchlan and Amy Muir have been called up in place of Jen Beattie and Chloe Arthur.
Kirsty Hanson has received her second call up for the national team along with Martha Thomas who is also included having impressed at the Pinatar Cup in March, scoring two on her debut.
Last time out
Albania are familiar opponents for Shelley Kerr who has faced them three times since 2017. Scotland’s last match against the Albanians finished 5-0 where debutant Kirsty Hanson put in a Player of the Match display. Hannah Godfrey also marked her first SWNT appearance with a goal.
Ahead of the game, Martha Thomas caught up with the official Scotland programme. The full interview will be available via the digital copy which is available to read here.
What are your reflections on your Scotland debut back in March, when you scored two goals against Ukraine?
It seems so long ago now but going into that match I just wanted to fit into the squad and do anything I could to help the team win the game, and the tournament.
To walk away with two goals on my debut was a surprise for me but I was thrilled. I had my family in the crowd too so all in all it was a really special trip. I want to build on that now.
All of the girls were really open and accepting to me. I never felt out of place at all and that is credit to them and the staff.
I was thrilled scoring on my debut and the biggest thing for me is to now continue that form as I set high standards for myself.
What was playing international football like?
It was a dream come true. To have played at the top level internationally and ticked that box is great. It was a special moment for myself and my family. I’m now aiming to get an official UEFA cap and represent Scotland at tournaments. That would be massive for me.
If you watched the first game I played I did struggle a bit at times in Spain as it’s such a high pace. After a while I settled into the game, grew in confidence and managed to score two.
What are your ambitions with the national team?
I want to achieve big things with Scotland. I want to represent them at the Euros and the World Cup. My family are so proud of me playing for Scotland which is a nice feeling. They were booked to come to the game in June and I know they’d love to be at Tynecastle tonight. I’ve not seen them since March when they were in Spain so hopefully I can do them proud against Albania.
What’s it been like playing football again with West Ham, now the season has resumed?
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster as I was buzzing to be back and I felt sharp after a period of rest. I then picked up a pre-season injury so my first game back was last weekend against Manchester United. I’m delighted to be back fit and included for this camp.
Where to watch
The game will be live on BBC ALBA and live updates will be available from the Scotland National Team Twitter account, @ScotlandNT.
The matchday programme is available to read online for free.
UEFA Women’s European Championship Qualifiers Fixtures
Friday, 23 October 2020: Scotland v Albania, Tynecastle Park
Tuesday, 27 October 2020: Finland v Scotland, TBC
Friday, 27 November 2020: Portugal v Scotland, TBC
Tuesday, 1 December 2020: Scotland v Finland, Easter Road
TBC, February 2021: Cyprus v Scotland, TBC
TBC, February 2021: Scotland v Portugal, TBC