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World Cup send-off can be a ‘watershed moment’, says Scotland boss Kerr

Scotland host Jamaica in their last warm-up fixture ahead of the tournament in France.

Shelley Kerr looking for “watershed moment” for Scotland’s women team with five-figure crowd (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Shelley Kerr looking for “watershed moment” for Scotland’s women team with five-figure crowd (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Shelley Kerr believes it would be a “watershed moment” for Scottish women’s football if her side can attract a crowd of more than 10,000 for their friendly against Jamaica at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.

The Scots will play at the national stadium for the first time in  seven years in what will be a send-off friendly match ahead of this summer’s World Cup in France.

The attendance target to beat is the 4,098 achieved last year against Switzerland, and head coach Kerr stressed the significance of a five-figure crowd.

She said: “We want to continue in the same form we have been in. We want to build momentum going into the World Cup, that is important.

“But ultimately we are looking at the support.

“For me, it would be a huge watershed moment in Scottish women’s football if we can exceed 10,000, and I am confident we can do that.

“I think the players deserve it. We have always set ourselves a target of inspiring the nation and it would be fantastic for the players if we were to get that 10,000 or more.

“It is the national stadium, it is what dreams are made of.

“Personally, I am very fortunate to be at the helm to take my team to the World Cup. But pre-World Cup, to lead the team out at Hampden, it doesn’t get any better, and if we get that number as expected, I will have a little wry smile at the end of the game regardless.”

The last time Scotland’s women played at Hampden Park was in October  2012, when they drew 1-1 against Spain in the first leg of a Euro 2013 play-off.

Ultimately,  the Scots failed to qualify for that tournament, but they did make the Euros for the first time four years later and they will make their debut in this summer’s World Cup.

Newly appointed men’s boss Steve Clarke held up the women’s achievement as an inspiration, given that Scotland’s men have not qualified for the finals of a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, also in France.

Kerr said: “That should be a typical statement. It was a heartfelt statement, it wasn’t just for the sake of it.

“I have spoken to Steve since, he is a proud passionate Scot, like myself. We want our national teams to do well, so it is about having an integrated approach and we are the same.

“The women’s national team, myself, everyone connected to women’s football, we want the men to do well too.

“That is important. We  haven’t been at a finals in over two decades, so it is important that we want all the national teams to do well.”

Scotland’s opening game at the finals in France comes against England on June 9 in Nice, with Japan and Argentina also in Group D.

PA

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