MEGAN Sneddon, who switched clubs from Celtic to Rangers in January, is expected to return to the Scotland side which faces New Zealand in the Cyprus Cup this afternoon.
The 27-year-old had to miss the double-header against the United States in January because her employers, the Royal Mail, wouldn’t give her time off. “I found that really hard,” said the midfielder, who will win her 108th cap in Nicosia. “It was worst on the days of the games – I was walking the streets carrying mail when I wanted to be with the girls in America.”
Sneddon says she has made the right move going to Rangers. “Their new coach is Angie Hind, who I’ve known since I was 14 and we were both at Kilmarnock,” she said. “I get on well with her and I knew her training sessions would be good – which is how it has worked out.”
Scotland are the lowest ranked team in Group A, which includes England and Italy, and face a tough first game today. Although New Zealand are closest to them in the rankings, they reached the quarter-finals of the Olympics in London before being beaten 2-0 by eventual winners America. The Football Ferns also lost 1-0 to Team GB, including Kim Little and Ifeoma Dieke, in the group stage but gave as good as they got.
They beat Scotland 3-0, also in the Cyprus Cup, in 2010 and have a core of players attached to clubs in Germany, Sweden and England. Although able to recall Sneddon, coach Anna Signeul is still without first choice central defenders Rachel Corsie and Dieke. One of their likely replacements, Rachel Small, is also unavailable because she hasn’t been given time off by her employer, while another defender, Emma Fernon, is injured.
Jenny Beattie, the Arsenal striker, played in central defence against America while Signeul can also call on Celtic’s Rhonda Jones and Glasgow City teenager Eilish McSorley.