Dunfermline Press

Docherty injured in bike crash - Page 50


A DECADE on from her first, Caroline Weir says being able to reflect on winning 100 caps for her country is “a real dream come true”.

The Dunfermlin­e-born player, who is currently playing her club football with Spanish giants Real Madrid, reached the landmark milestone in July when Scotland played Finland in a friendly match.

Given the captain’s armband for the occasion, Caroline netted the opener in a 2-1 win, adding the gloss of a 17th internatio­nal goal to an already special moment.

In 2013, and whilst still a pupil at Dunfermlin­e High School, she made her senior bow in a 3-2 success in Iceland, marking the start of a Scotland career she admitted that she didn’t envisage.

On the internatio­nal stage, she was part of the first women’s national team squad to qualify for a major tournament when they reached the 2017 European Championsh­ips, in which Caroline had the honour of scoring the goal, against Spain, to give Scotland their first victory.

Two years later, she was competing at the World Cup in France, whilst she was also selected to play for Great Britain at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Having started out playing for

Elgin Star at Fife Soccer Sevens at Pitreavie, before going on to play for Hibernian, Arsenal, Bristol Academy, Liverpool and Manchester City, she moved to Madrid last summer.

After winning her 100th cap, Caroline, who is set to line-up for Scotland tomorrow (Friday) in their UEFA Nations League opener against England, returned home to Dunfermlin­e for a visit that included taking a coaching session with youngsters from former Pars star

Joe Cardle’s football academy.

“I knew it was coming. It was a really proud moment,” Caroline told Press Sport of her landmark appearance. “One hundred games; it’s gone fast. It’s a lot of games, but I’m really proud. It feels like a long time since my first cap in some ways, but it’s gone super fast.

“I feel really honoured to be able to represent Scotland that many times. It was a good day. These things are a nice occasion, but you want the team to win and the team to do well to really top it off, and it was a good end to the week.

“The most important thing is the performanc­e and the win. Obviously, 100 caps is personal to me, but we played well and finished the camp off nicely.”

When asked if she envisaged the career that she has gone on to have when she stepped onto the pitch in Reykjavík 10 years ago, Caroline continued: “No, I don’t think so.

“I always look quite short-term; I was always wanting to work hard. I always said to myself ‘let’s see where football can take me’ growing up.

“Let’s see if it’s profession­al, if it’s to America for a scholarshi­p - let’s just see.

“I think, if you speak to my parents, we’re all pretty surprised the way it’s gone.

“I’m also fortunate with the timing of it. I’ve been in the generation where the game’s completely shifted from amateur to profession­al, so I feel really lucky that I came into it at this time.

“If I’d been 10 years older, it would’ve been a different story. I feel very fortunate with the timing of it all. I feel proud but lucky the way that it’s worked out.”

As for stand-out moments in a Scotland shirt, Caroline noted the appearance­s at the Euros and World Cup, adding: “Representi­ng Scotland at those kinds of tournament­s is what you dream of as a kid.

“To be at a World Cup and represent Scotland, and see the kind of impact it has on girls, is the biggest thing for me.

“I think that’s really cool, and to play a small part in that is nice.”

Scotland play World Cup finalists England tomorrow (Fri) at the Stadium of Light in their Nations League opener, before Belgium at Hampden Park on Tuesday.

• Words by Ross Hart

• Photo by David Wardle

 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom