Ukraine v Scotland: Shelley Kerr welcomes increased squad competition

By Heather DewarBBC Scotland
Scotland have won their first two Euro 2021 qualifiers
Scotland have won their first two Euro 2021 qualifiers
Pinatar Cup: Ukraine v Scotland
Venue: Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Spain Date: Wednesday, 4 March Time: 18:00 GMT

Increased competition for places in the Scotland women's squad is a welcome problem, says head coach Shelley Kerr, as she tries to steer the team to a third consecutive major finals.

Scotland begin the Pinatar Cup against Ukraine on Wednesday, with Kerr set to blood fresh talent in the Murcia event.

Kerr's side also face Iceland and Northern Ireland before resuming their Euro 2021 qualification campaign.

"We've looked at about 40 players," Kerr said.

"Our key philosophy here is to make the squad really competitive - it's getting harder to select our squad but also for the players to get in it.

"In a two-and-a-half-year period we had eight or nine new caps and that will probably increase after this.

"That's massive in terms of how we develop and getting a freshness and mix in the squad. We have three objectives over the three games - win, experiment tactically and give players an opportunity to get some minutes."

The majority of Kerr's squad are now on professional contracts at their clubs and the head coach says it has raised standards, with Scotland's women having competed in their first World Cup finals last year after featuring at the 2017 Euros.

"It 100% makes a difference and that's fantastic," she added.

"You have to be playing in the most competitive and professional environment you can to get better and we've definitely seen difference in the training environment. The physical aspect has increased tenfold over the last five years."

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