Scotland continuity key as Shelley Kerr names first squad as coach

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr
Shelley Kerr has taken over from Anna Signeul

New Scotland women's head coach Shelley Kerr has named 19 of the players who went to Euro 2017 in her first squad - for a friendly against Hungary.

Anna Signeul stood down following this summer's Euro 2017 finals, having spent 12 years as team boss.

Kerr said: "The time constraints from post-Euros going into the World Cup qualifiers doesn't leave you a lot of time to make a lot of changes.

"And also most of the players have not played any club games since."

Although the 47-year-old, who was manager of Stirling University men's team, has retained the bulk of the Swede's squad, she has called up uncapped Hibernian midfielder Lucy Graham for the 14 September friendly in Budapest.

Manchester City striker Claire Emslie and Celtic goalkeeper Megan Cunningham earn recalls along with Graham's club-mate and fellow midfielder Rachael Small.

Graham scored twice and Small also found the net on Monday as Hibs began their Champions League Group 2 campaign with a 5-0 win over Swansea City in Romania.

"The players that have come in have all been on the periphery before and all four players have done well this season at their clubs," said Kerr, who led Arsenal to two FA Cup triumphs,

Cunningham replaces Stjarnan's Gemma Fay, who had been Scotland captain but has retired from international football after a record 203 caps.

Vittsjo defender Ifeoma Dieke and Glasgow City midfielder Leanne Ross have also called an end to their Scotland careers in recent days.

Hibs' Joelle Murray and Lucy Graham
Joelle Murray and Lucy Graham are among four Hibs players in the squad

"After any campaign, that's usually when players tend to retire and the three players have amassed 400-plus caps and they've been fantastic role models," said Kerr.

"We are going to miss the experience, but in football that gives someone else an opportunity."

Hibs defenders Rachel McLauchlan and Kirsty Smith, who both featured at the Euros in Netherlands, miss out on selection this time.

Seattle Reign defender Rachel Corsie and Manchester City striker Jane Ross, who were both injured during the finals, are included in the squad to face Hungary.

However, Arsenal midfielder Kim Little, Manchester City defender Jenny Beattie and forwards Emma Mitchell, of Arsenal, and Lizzie Arnott, of Hibs, remain sidelined after missing Euro 2017 through injury.

Former defender Kerr, who won 59 Scotland caps, began her managerial career with Kilmarnock before spells with Hibs, Spartans and Arsenal then became the first woman to take charge of a senior men's side when appointed by Lowland League outfit Stirling University in 2014.

She has previous international experience and was in charge of the Scotland side at the 2010 European Women's Under-19 Championship in Macedonia.

Under Signeul, Scotland failed to make it out of their group in their first appearance at a major finals, but Kerr thinks she has inherited a squad that "has great potential".

"To finish on a high, winning against Spain, it's certainly the foundations we want to build on," she added.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Lee Alexander (Glasgow City), Megan Cunningham (Celtic), Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo)

Defenders: Rachel Corsie (Seattle Reign), Chloe Arthur (Bristol City), Joelle Murray (Hibernian), Kirsty Smith (Hibernian), Vaila Barsley (Eskilstuna United), Sophie Howard (1899 Hoffenheim), Frankie Brown (unattached)

Midfielders: Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea), Caroline Weir (Liverpool), Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City), Jo Love (Glasgow City), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Lisa Evans (Arsenal), Lucy Graham (Hibernian), Rachael Small (Hibernian)

Forwards: Jane Ross (Manchester City), Lana Clelland (Tavagnacco Femminile), Claire Emslie (Manchester City), Fiona Brown (Eskilstuna United), Christie Murray (Doncaster Rover Belles)

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