Picking Scotland World Cup squad will be tough admits Shelley Kerr

Scotland head coach 'Shelley Kerr. Picture: John Devlin
Scotland head coach 'Shelley Kerr. Picture: John Devlin
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Scotland’s win over Brazil on Monday night was the last chance for Shelley Kerr to assess her players before naming her World Cup squad.

The Fifa deadline for submitting lists of players is before the final preparation game against Jamaica at Hampden on 28 May and Kerr said: “The squad is likely to be announced in the middle of next month. It’s going to be one of the hardest things I’m ever going to have to do as a coach, because I know how much it means to every single one of the players to get to the World Cup.”

Not all the 23 players who were in Spain for the 1-1 draw against Chile and 1-0 win against Brazil, both at the Pinatar Arena, are guaranteed to be on the flight to France on 5 June.

Scotland play England in Nice four nights later, before travelling to Rennes and Paris for the later Group D games against Japan and Argentina.

Arsenal left back Emma Mitchell, a first choice in the qualifiers, wasn’t with the squad in Spain, and neither was Fiorentina striker Lana Clelland. Both are strong candidates to be included if fit.

“All the players need to be performing at their clubs, and a lot can happen between now and the squad announcement,” Kerr said.

Although the head coach plays down friendly results, she admitted beating Brazil, who are ranked tenth in the world, was a massive morale booster. “It’s huge for us going into the World Cup,” Kerr said. “Before we beat Switzerland in the qualifiers I told the players we had to start beating higher ranked teams when it matters.

“It’s another step forward and, for me, the message is we can cope against the very best teams.”

Kerr also revealed that the players chosen for the World Cup will be given a break after the Jamaica game at the end of next month.

“They will be allowed to spend some time with their families because I think that’s important for them,” Kerr said. “Then they’ll come in and we’ll train for a couple of days in Scotland before heading out to Nice.”

Kerr will go to Rennes and Paris on Monday to look at hotels and training facilities. She visited Nice shortly after the World Cup draw.