Aberdeen co-boss Emma Hunter is delighted the Dons will be well represented when six first-team players join up with the Scotland under-19’s training camp next week.
Scotland under-19’s coach Pauline Hamill has named Jess Broadrick, Eva Thomson, Bayley Hutchison, Bailley Collins, Nadia Sopel and goalkeeper Gail Gilmour in the training squad.
The two-day camp takes place on January 18-19 and will be an opportunity for the players to impress Hamill ahead of 2022’s competitive fixtures, a schedule that includes matches against Kosovo, Estonia and Kazakhstan.
All six players have featured regularly for the Dons in SWPL 1 this season, and Hunter believes their inclusion in the national set-up reflects their hard work at club level.
She said: “We’re absolutely delighted and it’s thoroughly deserved.
“They’re a group that gives so much, are so committed and work so hard to be given this opportunity.
“They’re part of the performance hub which trains early mornings on top of what they do with us in the first team.
“Competing in SWPL 1 has given them a better start to get into the camp and hopefully be selected off the back of it which would be a big bonus for them and the club.”
🏴 Congratulations to @BailleyCollins, @NadiasopelX, @bayleyhutchison, @gail_gilmour, @jessbroadrick & @EvaThom17563467 who have all been called up to the upcoming Scotland U19 training camp. pic.twitter.com/ttELXbSduU
— Aberdeen FC Women (@AberdeenWomen) January 11, 2022
The Dons have a rich history of former players going on to represent Scotland at senior level, including former Aberdeen Ladies player and current Scotland captain Rachel Corsie.
Hunter hopes that the current cohort of Dons will follow in Corsie’s footsteps and continue to be involved with the international set-up beyond next week’s camp.
She added: “It would be great to see some of those girls go on and represent their country at full international level and we’ve seen a number of Aberdeen players do that over the last couple of decades.
“Jess Broadrick has already captained the under 19s and you’ve got Rachel who’s a former Aberdeen Ladies player, so that’s a huge achievement for the north.
“We’re flying that flag still which makes me really proud.”
Time to shine
Broadrick and Thomson have been capped at this level before, with the former skippering the national side in their most recent European qualifying matches against Austria, Ukraine and the Netherlands.
While Hutchison had been called up for the same qualifiers back in October, she missed out due to injury.
The inclusion of the trio in the camp will have come as little surprise.
However, Gilmour and Collins’ last international caps came almost two years ago when they represented the respective under-16 and 17 sides.
Both players have since been involved in other under-19 training camps, but are yet to be capped at that level.
Next week’s camp will be Sopel’s first involvement with the under 19 national team, and Hunter was more than happy to pass on the good news to the young winger.
“I think that was the best phone call and the best chat to have was with Nadia because she’s getting this opportunity that she maybe wasn’t expecting to, so it was great to be able to tell her that,” Hunter said.
“Hopefully she uses this as a bit of a confidence boost as well and we can see her pushing on.”