Shelley Kerr thrilled to be cited as motivation for Scotland men

Steve Clarke’s complimentary comments about the achievement of Scotland’s women footballers in qualifying for next month’s World Cup have been warmly welcomed by head coach Shelley Kerr and her captain, Rachel Corsie.

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr, left, and captain Rachel Corsie are preparing for a friendly against Jamaica next week. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA.
Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr, left, and captain Rachel Corsie are preparing for a friendly against Jamaica next week. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA.

The newly-appointed manager of the men’s national side said on Monday that he would be motivated to emulate the women’s success.

Such an acknowledgement remains rare from a senior figure in the men’s game and Kerr hopes 
it will trigger Scotland fans to get behind both the national sides.

Her team play Jamaica in a World Cup send-off game next Tuesday, while Clarke opens his account as men’s manager against Cyprus the following week in a bid to end a two-decade exile from major 
tournaments.

“It’s nice to hear, and very kind words, but I would replicate that about him as he’s very knowledgeable about football,” Kerr said.

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“Whether it’s man-management or the tactical elements of the game, he’s a fantastic appointment, and a popular appointment.

“All of a sudden you’ve got two national teams, in the space of a week or so, that are going to be playing at Hampden. I would urge everyone to come along and watch both teams.

“That’s what we should be all about as a country. Regardless of the situation, it’s important we support our national teams. It would be brilliant for Steve to get off to a good start against Cyprus.

“We need to be getting to finals. That’s a big thing, and it’s the wish of everyone that’s involved in Scottish football.”

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Kerr and Clarke both extol the virtues of hard work and meticulous planning, and the women’s head coach said she would waste no time in tapping into the knowledge of her men’s equivalent. She played for Kilmarnock for three seasons, while Clarke has left the Ayrshire side to take up his new post.

“It has been a brilliant season for Kilmarnock and I am looking forward to chapping his door and asking for some advice,” she said.

Corsie, who arrived in Scotland at 8am yesterday after flying through the night from the United States where she plays for NWSL side Utah Royals, also welcomed Clarke’s words.

“It was huge and flattering for someone of his calibre to mention our achievements,” the central defender said. “To do it in his first interview as Scotland manager says a huge amount about what we have done. It reiterates the message that we are in it together, men and women.”

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lShelley Kerr and Rachel Corsie were speaking at the announcement of Loganair as official airline partner of the Scotland women’s team. They will fly the squad to Nice 
on 5 June.