Scotland Women: Anna Signeul keen for female successor as head coach

Scotland head coach Anna Signeul
Anna Signeul has guided Scotland to two fourth-placed finishes at the Cyprus Cup, in 2011 and 2014

Anna Signeul thinks it is important that her successor as head coach of Scotland's women's team is female.

The Swede will leave her position to become head coach of Finland after Scotland's women contest their first-ever European Championship finals in the Netherlands this summer.

She said: "It's really hard to develop female coaches because there are so few opportunities for full-time positions.

"So I think, if there is a woman who is good, she should have the job."

Signeul, who is in her 12th year in charge of Scotland, added that if there is man "well worthy of the job" then it should go to him, but since she always tries to promote and mentor female coaches, she would "really look forward to seeing a female coach in the job".

The Scottish Football Association's new performance director, Malky Mackay, will be key to appointing the 55-year-old's replacement, but the pair have yet to meet to discuss future plans.

An advertisement for her job has gone out this week and Signeul expects "huge" interest in the role.

Scotland Women's Cyprus Cup ties
Scotland v New Zealand, Group B, Wednesday 1 March, 12:30 GMT
Scotland v Korea Republic, Group B, Friday 3 March, 15:30 GMT
Scotland v Austria, Group B, Monday 6 March, 15:30 GMT
Placing match, Wednesday 8 March

Meanwhile, with a goalkeeper and defender still to be added, Signeul has named a 21-player squad for next month's Cyprus Cup that is largely unchanged from the one that drew twice in recent friendlies against Denmark.

Scotland play New Zealand, Austria and Korea Republic as part of their preparations for the Euro finals.

Hibernian captain Joelle Murray returns after missing those games against the Danes, but Scotland's most capped player, goalkeeper Gemma Fay, is absent from the list as she recovers from injury.

Uncapped Lee Alexander is included in her place, fresh from returning to Glasgow City from Swedish club Mallbackens.

Fifteen of the 21 players in the squad are with clubs outside Scotland and, while Signeul is delighted to see her players develop full-time, she regrets they cannot do that domestically.

"Our young players get contracts because Scotland are doing so well and our young players are doing so well," said Signeul.

"The attraction from the foreign clubs is huge for our players and they target young players.

"Seeing Erin Cuthbert (Glasgow City to Chelsea) and Fiona Brown (Glasgow City to Eskilstuna) disappearing to top clubs is fantastic for them. However, for the domestic game, it's not great.

"Unfortunately, that's what happens when we don't have these opportunities in Scotland to give full-time professional contracts to our players here.

"I think it's important that we try to work with the clubs here to keep the league competitive. I see that as a priority."

Scotland women's squad for the Cyprus Cup

Goalkeepers: Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo), Lee Alexander (Glasgow City).

Defenders: Jennifer Beattie (Manchester City), Frankie Brown (Bristol City), Rachel Corsie (Seattle Reign), Ifeoma Dieke (Vittsjo), Emma Mitchell (Arsenal), Joelle Murray (Hibernian).

Midfielders: Leanne Crichton (Notts County), Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea), Lisa Evans (Bayern Munich), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Kim Little (Arsenal), Joanne Love (Glasgow City), Christie Murray (Doncaster Rovers Belles), Leanne Ross (Glasgow City), Caroline Weir (Liverpool).

Forwards: Lizzie Arnot (Hibernian), Fiona Brown (Eskilstuna United), Lana Clelland (Tavagnacco), Jane Ross (Manchester City).

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