Women's Euro 2017 can inspire Scottish girls - Anna Signeul

Scotland head coach Anna Signeul
Anna Signeul will take charge of her last game in Scotland at Stark's Park on Friday evening
Friendly: Scotland Women v Republic of Ireland Women
Venue: Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy Date: 7 July Kick-off: 19:30 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC ALBA, report on BBC Sport website

Scotland head coach Anna Signeul views the Women's Euro 2017 tournament as a potential catalyst for attracting more girls to play football.

Signeul, who has guided the side to their first major finals, hopes the group ties against England, Spain and Portugal will promote long-term benefits for the game in Scotland.

"This competition is so important to sell the game to all these young girls," the Swede told BBC Scotland.

"You can feel it is something special."

After 12 years in charge, Signeul will step down from her role after this summer's finals in the Netherlands to become manager of Finland's national women's team. Shelley Kerr is her successor.

She has witnessed improvements in the standard of players at her disposal and in the coverage of women's football, but hopes for much more.

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Signeul said: "If girls get positive vibes around women's football, positive comments among the media, we can get more investment into the game and get more opportunities to play football.

"The girls would get more opportunities to become as good as they can, with more professional contracts in Scotland, maybe semi-professional teams, and do what they do in the England.

"For the moment, we have 11,000 players, but that hopefully grows and when it grows to maybe 20,000 we should have double the amount of talent to pick from."

Signeul, speaking at her squad's camp at Airth Castle, said preparations for the finals in the Netherlands are going well.

The team's final warm-up match, and Signeul's last on Scottish soil, is against the Republic of Ireland on Friday at Raith Rovers' Stark's Park.

Goalkeeper Gemma Fay is expected to win her 200th cap in that match, having made her Scotland debut against Czech Republic in 1998.

Gemma Fay
Gemma Fay has been in the Scotland goal since 1998 and is expected to earn her 200th cap against the Republic of Ireland

Signeul admits that injuries to key players such as Kim Little and Jen Beattie have had "a little bit of an impact" on how she wanted the team to play, but says she has adjusted things to suit.

She is not keen to set a points target for Scotland in their tough Euro 2017 group but instead focuses on getting the best out of her squad.

"Success for me looks like getting the players to come up to their full potential because then we will all have done absolutely everything that we can," said Signeul.

"Many times players go off the pitch feeling they have not done themselves justice. If they have done everything they could, we will see how far that takes us.

"That way, it may not be enough for three points or one point, but we will be proud of them anyway."

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