2019 promises to be an iconic year for women’s football in Scotland and Hibs’ skipper Joelle Murray is determined to help raise the profile of the sport at both cub and international level.
Having qualified for their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup, Scotland will face Phil Neville’s England side in Nice on Sunday 9 June 2019 before meeting 2011 world champions Japan in Rennes five days later then finishing off the group matches against Argentina at the iconic Parc des Princes in Paris on Friday 19 June.
With the men’s team having failed to qualify for a major tournament for over 20 years, all eyes will be on Shelley Kerr’s players and a large travelling support is expected.
Murray said: “Shelley Kerr has spoken about how she wants to capture the imagination of the nation and raise awareness of the good work and the development in the women’s game.
“Qualification for the World Cup is a fantastic way to do that and hopefully there will be some really good initiatives in the run up to the summer from all the partners and associations involved in football in the country.
“If clubs can buy into it as well it will be massive. It’s such a fantastic time to be involved in women’s football in Scotland. It is definitely time to capitalise on the success and that rise.
“My goal is to be involved in the tournament and be included in Shelley’s squad in the summer, but it is a decision that is out of my hands. As long as I can do everything that I can and put myself in the best possible decision to be selected then that is all I can do to influence the decision. “It was fantastic to be involved in the national team game against the USA in November and it was great to be back in the squad, especially on the back of a season that wasn’t the best for me with injuries that I picked up.
“Of course I want to be in that squad in the summer and there is no doubt that there is a big pool of players that also have their eye on being in that squad, and it is full of talent. I know I will need to work hard and do everything that I possibly can to get myself one of those precious spots.”
Shelley Kerr said: “I think we should be aiming to get out the group even though we know it’s going to be tough.
“England have come out and said they want to win the World Cup so getting Scotland in their first game, they wouldn’t have liked that either. As the higher-ranked team, they’re going to be under pressure.”