Signeul insists she is not concerned by long list of Scotland absentees
SCOTLAND head coach Anna Signeul says she is largely unconcerned about a spate of injuries to key players ahead of next month’s friendly against Belgium.
The game, in Leuven on April 11, is the seventh of ten preparation games ahead of Euro 2017. No fewer than eight players, including Arsenal midfielder Kim Little, were missing from yesterday’s 19-player squad. Signeul’s biggest problems are in defence. Three of her four central defenders – Rachel Corsie, Jen Beattie and Joelle Murray – cannot be risked, while two full backs are also out. One of them, Arsenal’s Emma Mitchell, is likely to be out for three or four months with a hamstring injury and could miss the Euros.
Celtic captain Kelly Clark has been drafted into the squad despite not being on Signeul’s short-list for the Euros. Two other uncapped central defenders, Vaila Barsley and Sophie Howard, are expected to join her.
England-born Barsley, 29, plays in Sweden with Eskilstuna United and Germany-born Howard, 23, with Hoffenheim – but both are Scottish qualified.
Signeul expressed frustration that an unnamed home nation failed to complete the required paperwork for them to be included yesterday.
“It’s going to be resolved,” she said. “But we’ve been waiting one and a half weeks for this paperwork and we’ve been chasing and chasing. It’s not hard.”
Neither Wales nor Northern Ireland have a connection with either of the central defenders.
When asked if she was concerned about the eight injuries, Signeul said: “I’m only worried about Emma Mitchell. All the others will be fine. It’s mostly small tears in the muscles.
“If this had been in June I would be concerned. Two or three weeks now and you can leave the injuries to heal – then they have the whole of April and May to play games and get fit. This game is not a qualifier – it’s a friendly. We have new players we can look at.” 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB. email: [email protected]herald.co.uk. Tel 0141 302 6590 Head of Sport Stewart Weir
Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert is not in the squad as she is expected to captain the Scotland Under-19 team in their three Euro elite round matches.