Scotland: Anna Signeul seek free help from fans

Coach Anna Signeul and striker Jane Ross
Coach Anna Signeul and striker Jane Ross

Scotland coach Anna Signeul hopes that playing a woman's international at Hampden Park for the first time - and free entry - will help her side reach their first major finals.

The Scots take on Spain in the play-offs for the Euro 2013 finals, with the first leg at home on 20 October.

"This is the first time that the women's national team has played at Hampden Park," said the Swede.

"And I think it will be a great occasion."

The second leg takes place the following Wednesday at Pabellón de la Ciudad del Fútbol 1 in Madrid.

It is the second time in succession that the Scots have reached the play-offs, losing out to Russia on away goals four years ago.

But Signeul thinks they are better prepared this time to face a side who are five places about the Scots, at 17th, in the world rankings.

"We've made great strides in terms of growing the women's game in Scotland and I genuinely believe that success breeds interest," she told the Scottish Football Association's website as she announced her squad.

"We've had a good level of success over the past few years, but now we have an opportunity to qualify for the finals of a major tournament for the first time.

"If we get to the Uefa Women's Euro finals in Sweden next year, I believe it would be massive for the women's game in this country, in terms of interest from potential young players, from the general public and the media."

Signeul, who named the same squad that lost their final group game 5-0 to France, said everything was being done to ensure that Scottish fans came out to give their support.

"The match is free entry, partly as a thank-you to the fans who have followed us over the years but also to encourage people who haven't watched us before to come along," she said.

"There is always a great family atmosphere at our matches and the backing that we have received so far has been tremendous.

"It may be a bit of a cliché, but supporters really can be the twelfth player, particularly in crucial matches like this.

"Spain are a very good side, they are technically gifted.

"We will need to be at the top of our game to defeat them and, with the backing of the Tartan Army, we will have every chance."

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Gemma Fay (Celtic), Shannon Lynn (Hibernian)

Defenders: Frankie Brown (Hibernian), Rachel Corsie (Glasgow City), Emma Fernon (Glasgow City), Rhonda Jones (Celtic), Eilish McSorley (Glasgow City), Emma Mitchell (Glasgow City), Rachael Small (Forfar Farmington)

Midfielders: Hayley Lauder (Aland United), Kim Little (Arsenal), Joanne Love (Glasgow City), Leanne Ross (Glasgow City), Megan Sneddon (Celtic)

Forwards: Jennifer Beattie (Arsenal), Lisa Evans (Turbine Potsdam), Suzanne Grant (Celtic), Christie Murray (Glasgow City), Jane Ross (Glasgow City)

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