Rachel Corsie, who tonight will become only the second woman to lead Scotland out at Hampden Park, believes the World Cup send-off game against Jamaica will presage a successful tournament for her side.
Corsie also played in the previous women’s international at the national stadium – the first leg of a Euro 2013 play-off against Spain. The attendance then was a record 4,058, but there could be four or five times that number at Hampden this evening.
“I know there has been a huge number of tickets sold and we are expecting a record crowd,” said Corsie, the Utah Royals central defender.
Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert was in her early teens at the time of the Spain game in 2012, but although still just 20 has become a key figure in the Scotland side. She has won a number of awards at club level this season, including one for the best goal – against eventual winners Lyon – in the Champions League.
“I would rather Erin had kept a lower profile and been our secret weapon,” Corsie joked. “But it seems she will be closely watched now.
“She deserves all the credit she has received. We have always known what a talent she is, but over the last year she has taken it up a notch. Chelsea is perfect for her and she has taken advantage of every opportunity that has come her way.
“It isn’t just what she does on the pitch. She is invaluable off it as well. Erin is an incredibly kind-hearted, happy go lucky, and an all-round good person to have in the group. She motivates others just by being her and I am sure she can have a great tournament.
“We have a number of players who are playing for top clubs in England, Italy, Sweden and the United States. There is an expectation on those players to win week in, week out. That is invaluable, and is what is going to be expected of us at the World Cup.”
Scotland kick off the tournament against England in Nice on 9 June and will then face Japan and Argentina.
Jamaica are also heading to their first World Cup. “They’re unorthodox at times and very direct, good at set plays,” said Scotland coach Shelley Kerr. “They’ve been on a decent run of form, and beat Chile twice while we drew 1-1 against them.”
One of Jamaica’s best players, striker Khadija Shaw, has a tragic back story. Although just 22, she has already lost four older brothers – three in gang-related violence, and the other in a fatal car crash.