Shelley Kerr: National manager says Scottish club game needs higher standards

By Jane LewisBBC Scotland

National team manager Shelley Kerr says Scottish women's club football has a future, but needs higher standards "in facilities and on the pitch".

Despite Scotland Women making their World Cup finals debut this year, the domestic scene is hampered by poor crowds.

Kerr says the Scottish FA has set up a taskforce to look at every aspect of the women's game.

"There's no doubt domestically that we've still got work to," she said.

"There is not a lot of money there, however it needs to be used wisely and that is why this taskforce will be key to putting the right processes in place so the game can prosper.

"Even Glasgow City would hope for a more competitive environment and that then helps the women's game in general."

Glasgow City' Hayley Lauder this week voiced frustration after her club sealed their 13th successive SWPL title "in a public park at a sports centre" as they defeat Motherwell 10-0 at Wishaw Sports Centre.

And the combined crowd for both Scottish Women's Cup semi-finals earlier this month was just 578.

"The club scene here has a future, we can see that home-based players are in the squad," Kerr said after naming six SWPL players in her pool for next month's Euro 2021 qualifier away to Albania.

"Players are getting younger because some of our most talented players are migrating, they want to move to the best levels.

"Domestically we have a duty to increase the standard across the board in facilities and on the pitch. We need to make sure the structure is right."

'Poor facilities a one-off'

Glasgow City co-founder and current club manager Laura Montgomery says the poor facilities for her side's title clinching win against Motherwell were surprising, but a "one-off".

Montgomery admits there was "a little bend of the rules", agreed by both clubs, to bypass the stringent licensing criteria in place in the league and ensure the game went ahead in a rare free midweek for the Scottish champions.

"It was an individual case because we do have standards," she told BBC Scotland. "All Premier League matches have to be played in pretty much mini stadiums with a seated stand.

"Motherwell said they couldn't get their normal venue, but I assumed we would be playing on a 3G floodlight surface that would have been fit for purpose.

"There were disabled supporters there and very poor access. Supporters were lifting a wheelchair down a muddy embankment.

"If there had been any medical issues, I couldn't see how an ambulance would get to this field. I certainly didn't expect it to be the surface and type of facilities it was."

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