Steve Clarke and Shelley Kerr are hopeful of fulfilling the Tartan Army’s hopes of a memorable weekend for Scotland’s national football teams.
Clarke takes charge of his first match in charge of the men’s team tonight, when the Scots host Cyprus in a European qualifying Group I fixture in front of an expected 30,000 supporters at Hampden Park.
History will be made 24 hours later, when Kerr’s side play their first ever women’s World Cup fixture against rivals England in Nice, in their opening Group D encounter.
Despite Clarke inheriting a squad which got made a poor start to its qualifying campaign, most notably their 3-0 loss to Kazakhstan in March, the former Kilmarnock boss has detected a feel-good factor which has coincided with a successful end to the club campaign for a number of his players.
Skipper Andy Robertson arrives fresh from becoming the first Scot in 22 years to win the Champions League with Liverpool last weekend, while John McGinn and Kenny McLean secured promotion to the Premier League with Aston Villa and Norwich City respectively.
With a number of treble-treble winning Celtic players also among the squad, Clarke hopes to carry the euphoria into tonight’s game.
Clarke said: “There is all this positive feeling in the camp. I think there has been a bit of positivity with my appointment, so they tell me. We have to try and harness that and as a group take it forward.
“Listen, I am not naïve or silly enough not to know that the next step is to get the result. We have to get the points, hopefully with a great performance. But if we just get the points then the positivity will continue and we will move on.
“I think the negativity, or the perception of negativity, is obvious when you are not involved in it. The pleasing thing for me was, when I got the players together, I didn’t feel a negativity.”
Kerr is confident the improvement of her side since a humbling 6-0 loss to England at the European Championships – the Scots’ first major tournament – two years ago will be noticeable in tomorrow’s fixture at Allianz Riviera.
Kerr said: “We have grown, matured and developed as a team. We have bridged the gap but that is on paper – it’s up to us to make it happen on the pitch, where it matters.
“We’ve already captivated the nation by qualifying, but it’s the legacy part. We don’t want this to be an isolated incident.
“We want to professionalise and grow the game and success would change the whole landscape of the women’s game in Scotland.”