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Scotland squad to turn fully professional before World Cup

Government funding will enable all players in the women’s team to train full-time from January.

The Scottish women’s football squad will be able to train full-time for next year’s World Cup thanks to a funding boost.

The Scottish Government has pledged around £80,000 extra cash to the team so the players who are not currently professionals can train full-time from January.

The Scottish team has qualified for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, which takes place in France next June.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the funding at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

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Ms Sturgeon, right, met Scotland coach Shelley Kerr and her squad at Hampden Park to make the funding announcement (Jane Barlow/PA)

She said: “I’m proud to be patron of the Scotland women’s national team and it’s been fantastic to see the hard work of the squad and staff pay off with their qualification for the Fifa World Cup next year.

“This funding will allow all members of the squad to train full-time from January 2019 through to the World Cup in the summer.

“This will help to strengthen women and girls’ football in Scotland, and give Shelley (Kerr) and her squad the best chance of success in the finals.

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Ms Sturgeon tested her ball skills during the funding announcement (Jane Barlow/PA)

“We want to increase participation of women and girls in sport and I hope the success of the women’s team inspires more women and girls to get involved in sport, from grassroots activity to elite level.”

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr said: “We are in a fortunate position where a number of our players are already playing football full-time and this agreement allows all of our squad to be at their optimal best when the tournament comes around.”

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