Pinatar Cup: Scotland coach Kerr names two uncapped players in squad

By Heather DewarBBC Scotland
Glasgow City's Sam Kerr (right) is one of two uncapped players in the squad
Glasgow City's Sam Kerr (right) is one of two uncapped players in the squad

Injured Kim Little is a "huge loss" to Scotland, says head coach Shelly Kerr, after naming two uncapped players in her squad for next month's Pinatar Cup.

West Ham forward Martha Thomas and Glasgow City midfielder Sam Kerr are eyeing an international debut in the Spain tournament where Scotland face Ukraine, Iceland and Northern Ireland.

Arsenal's 137-cap midfielder Little, who had foot surgery last week, Fiona Brown and Lana Clelland are out injured.

"Kim is a glaring omission," Kerr said.

"She's a strong character - her attributes on the field are there for everyone to see. But in training, she expects high standards all the time - she demands, she's a huge loss.

"But surgery has been successful, her focus is now on recovery and as a squad we'll have to hold the fort until she comes back."

Kerr is targeting victory in the Pinatar Cup, which Scotland are using as preparation for home Euro qualifiers against Portugal, Albania and Finland in the coming months.

The Scots are second in Euro qualifying Group E with a 100% perfect record after a 5-0 win in Albania and 8-0 home thrashing of Cyprus, a game in which Little scored five.

West Ham forward Thomas gets a second call-up after withdrawing injured before the November win in Albania..

"She's fully fit now so it will be really really good to see her," added Kerr, who has named a 24-strong squad.

"Sam Kerr has come in too and we've got Kirsty Smith back. The quality and depth of the squad has increased and that is a credit to the players and clubs. When I first came into the role it was a pool of maybe 25/26, now we're looking at 36 players we can choose form and that's fantastic.

Northern Ireland are managed by former Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels - "he's got them well organised, they're very aggressive," says Kerr - while Iceland, 18th in the world, are ranked four places higher than Scotland.

"We have two main objectives for the Cup - one is to win it and the other is to give the players an opportunity to play across the across games," Kerr added.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Lee Alexander (Glasgow City); Jenna Fife (Rangers FC); Shannon Lynn (Vittsjö GIK)

Defenders: Chloe Arthur (Birmingham City); Jen Beattie (Arsenal); Rachel Corsie (Utah Royals); Hannah Godfrey (Tottenham Hotspur); Sophie Howard (Reading); Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City); Emma Mitchell (Tottenham Hotspur Women); Kirsty Smith (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Lizzie Arnot (Manchester United); Rachael Boyle (Hibernian); Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City); Lucy Graham (Everton); Sam Kerr (Glasgow City); Christie Murray (Liverpool); Caroline Weir (Manchester City)

Forwards: Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea); Claire Emslie (Melbourne City**); Lisa Evans (Arsenal); Abbi Grant (Birmingham City); Jane Ross (Manchester United); Martha Thomas (West Ham United)

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