As a teenager, Caroline Weir watched on as Kim Little shone as one of only two Scots in the Team GB squad at an Olympic Games. Now she gets to join her.
Mintlaw’s Little and Fife’s Weir have been selected for the British team ahead of this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.
They are the only two Scots in the squad, with Wales captain Sophie Ingle the only other non-English player included.
By competing, 139-cap Scotland midfielder Little will make history as one of only five female players to take the field for Team GB at two Olympic Games.
Alongside her in that exclusive club will be goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, defender Steph Houghton, midfielder Jill Scott and striker Ellen White.
‘I can’t wait for it’
Little told BBC Sport: “When I was younger I maybe didn’t think the Olympics was going to be an opportunity, especially with the four nations coming together to be Team GB. So I just feel incredibly grateful to do it twice. I can’t wait for it.
“It’s an absolute privilege to be able to represent Team GB in Tokyo and one I can’t wait for. It’s a true honour.”
In 2012, Little had fellow Scotland international Ifeoma Dieke for company. This year it’s Weir, who told Sky Sports that she “can’t wait to be a part of it”.
She added: “I remember watching Kim at 2012 and thinking ‘wow a Scot is playing for GB, that’s so cool’.
WOWW AN OLYMPICS😳🤩
So honoured and excited for this journey! 🇬🇧🇬🇧 https://t.co/Tw0MS9ga34
— Caroline Weir (@itscarolineweir) May 27, 2021
“I’m delighted for Kim being in the squad. It’s great to have some Scottish representation.
“The squad is so competitive but I think Scotland do have a good squad at the moment and it’d have been nice to have some more of us in it.
“But at the same time it’s a hard squad to pick and it’s such small numbers so I’m sure it was a difficult decision.
“Hopefully we can bring back something from Tokyo at the end of the summer.”
Tokyo will be only the second time Team GB has sent a women’s football squad to the Olympics since its introduction to the Games at Atlanta 1996.
Team GB have been drawn in Group E with Chile, Japan and Canada.
Little and co. first take on Chile in Sapporo on July 21 before facing Japan three days later.
They then travel to Kashima to face off with Canada on July 27.
In addition, coach Hege Riise has selected big names such as Fifa Best winner Lucy Bronze, Chelsea standout Fran Kirby and Lyon’s Nikita Parris.
‘Aiming to win’
Riise, a gold medal winner as a player, said: “I know first-hand as a former player just how proud my players will feel today at having been selected to represent Great Britain.
“There is no greater sporting occasion in the world and I am honoured to lead this hugely talented team into the Games.
“We will go there aiming to win and we will give everything we have to achieve success.
“I hope that Great Britain’s inclusion once more in the Olympic football tournament can inspire the next generation of young girls to play the sport we love.”
Mark England, Team GB Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 added: “It is fantastic to see five returning Olympians named and I am sure they, along with the 13 debutants, will relish the opportunity to represent Team GB this summer.”
Team GB squad
Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Man City/England), Ellie Roebuck (Man City/England).
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea/England), Lucy Bronze (Man City/England), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash/England), Steph Houghton (Man City/England), Demi Stokes (Man City/England), Leah Williamson (Arsenal/England).
Midfielders: Sophie Ingle (Chelsea/Wales), Kim Little (Arsenal/Scotland), Jill Scott (Man City/England), Keira Walsh (Man City/England), Caroline Weir (Man City/Scotland).
Forwards: Lauren Hemp (Man City/England), Fran Kirby (Chelsea/England), Nikita Parris (Lyon/England), Georgia Stanway (Man City/England), Ellen White (Man City/England).
Standby list: Sandy MacIver (Everton/England), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal/England), Niamh Charles (Chelsea/England), Ella Toone (Man Utd/England).