SCOTLAND’S record goalscorer Julie Fleeting is poised to make a dramatic return to the national team more than 18 years after winning her first cap.
The 34-year-old, who has two young daughters, has been added to the list of players for this weekend’s Scotland training camp – and coach Anna Signeul says the striker could feature in the 2017 European Championship qualifiers later this year.
“If Julie gets herself fully fit she will compete like everyone else for a place in the squad, but she is a special player and tactically very knowledgeable,” Signeul said. “We want to give her every chance.
“It’s tough to come back. Julie has been out for two major championship campaigns, which is more than three years without international football, but she is determined to do it. It’s now about her physique. If she can get the intensity and speed back she is definitely going to be an asset in the squad. The key for her is to stay injury-free.
“She is a fantastic target player as well as a great finisher. We don’t have a player like that in the squad, and haven’t had one since she was last in the side.”
Fleeting was just 15 when she made her Scotland debut against Wales in 1996, going on to score an incredible 116 goals in 120 appearances. The last of these came in her final match in 2011, as Scotland beat Belgium 1-0 in a friendly at Falkirk Stadium.
Fleeting continued to play for Scotland after giving birth to her first child, Ella, in 2009. She was the first player to be given dispensation by the Scottish FA to take her baby to away matches, but hasn’t played at international level since becoming pregnant with her second daughter, Sophia Jane, who was born in 2012.
Fleeting, whose previous clubs include San Diego Spirit and Arsenal, joined Celtic from Kilwinning Ladies in July 2013 and is now understood to be considering a move to another club.
Signeul said Fleeting will come into her plans for the Cyprus Cup tournament in March and also the Euro 2017 qualifiers later this year if she proves her fitness.