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Scotland Women see men’s national team and other women’s national teams having access to resources we don’t – Rachel Corsie’s weekly column

Scotland Women will train at the national base at the Oriam ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.
Scotland Women will train at the national base at the Oriam ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.

The Scotland Women’s squad have had a very positive week of training, maximising the opportunity of an extra few days’ preparation time ahead of our World Cup qualifier against Spain at Hampden on Tuesday.

We are determined to improve on a heavy defeat to the visitors last year, and to strengthen our bid for a major tournament return.

There are three qualifiers remaining and, while Spain are the group leaders, top seeds and will likely win the section, every game and performance matters as we chase, at minimum, a play-off place.

There was some added attention on the SWNT through this week after members of the team, including myself, all posted an identical statement on Twitter criticising the SFA’s ticketing strategy for the match.

Going public with our concerns was certainly not a decision which was taken lightly.

The SFA’s retaliatory statement said opening the stadium up section by section, as each one sells out, was a standardised process for all matches at the 50,000-seat national stadium.

However, due to this approach, we as players have heard stories like families of five being put off buying tickets because they can’t all get seats together in the currently available sections – something which could hamper our attempts to get as many people to watching the game as possible.

Hearing this is frustrating to us at a time of record attendances for women’s matches around the world.

Regardless, our complaint about the ticketing system for the Spain game was tied into the squad’s wider, long-standing concerns about inequality faced by the women’s national team as we strive for success on the pitch and to grow the SWNT’s profile off it.

We see resources provided to the men’s national team – or to other women’s national teams or at our clubs – which we don’t have available to us, and it makes us feel less valued as a result.

The Scotland men’s team.

Of course, the promotion of the women’s game and the national team have come on hugely during my time in the squad.

However, this has taken a lot of shared graft and collective perseverance by the players involved – we’ve had to be proactive as a group and fight for minimum resources to allow us to create a high-performance environment and get fans engaged with us.

Every member of the current Scotland squad, like all elite sportspeople, has made it this far in their career by making personal sacrifices and overcoming challenges, all the while also fighting for the women’s game be given a chance to thrive.

The constant battle against dissenting voices and for the resources you need to do your job to the best of your availability – something you see the men’s national teams and your competitors have more open access to – can be tiresome in certain moments. It weighs on us and makes us question our worth.

The burden of pushing for more resources is likely to be a fight which continues for many years yet, and I had positive talks with SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell this week which will hopefully mean we see a difference going forward.

We continue to strive to ensure the environment and resources enable us to have the best and fairest opportunity to compete and perform at our best. The success of the national team is important and comes in many forms, and we want to ensure we all work collectively to achieve that, boost the SWNT’s profile and help to inspire the next generation.

The SFA’s decision to enable the women’s team to play all their qualifying matches at Hampden is a great example of a commitment from the association to uplift the women’s team and put the women’s game on the platform it deserves in Scotland.

Rachel Corsie in action for Scotland during the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier between Scotland and Ukraine at Hampden Park.

I have spent more than a decade as an international player, and have felt honoured and privileged every time I have been selected. That is a feeling indisputably shared by every single player who pulls on a Scotland shirt.

We want the experience for everyone – players and fans alike – to be the best possible, and we are enormously grateful for the support we continue to receive from the supporters.

Great to see Liverpool heading back to top flight

Liverpool clinched the WSL 2 title last weekend after a 4-2 win over second-placed Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

More than 5,000 fans turned out to watch the clash between the two teams, with City hoping to close the gap on their rivals and reignite their own fight to bounce back to WSL 1 possible. However, it wasn’t to be, as Liverpool dominated and were well-deserved winners.

Manager Matt Beard is thriving and looks to be enjoying his second spell leading the Reds. He took them to two WSL 1 titles in his first spell at the club and it seems fitting, on his return, he will take them back there.

There are still two games left to play for Liverpool in their title-winning season, but, having only lost once all year, they have opened up a 14-point gap at the top of the table that now puts them out of reach of being caught.

For the women’s game, the return of Liverpool to the top-flight is something which brings a lot of excitement.

From a commercial perspective, having more of the top clubs in the first division brings immediate interest and value – and the prospect of another WSL 1 derby, between the Reds and cross-city rivals Everton, will be eagerly anticipated.

Liverpool will lift the trophy when they return home to Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park on April 24 against Sheffield United.

The success of the team will hopefully lead to the side enjoying more resources to enable them to compete in WSL 1, something which was reported to be lacking when they were relegated in 2020.

New England captain was the obvious choice

England have confirmed Arsenal’s Leah Williamson will lead the Lionesses out at the Euros this summer as captain.

Long-serving skipper Steph Houghton has missed every camp since Sarina Wiegman took over last summer through a persistent Achilles injury.

The Dutch coach has been patient in announcing a new permanent leader of the group, but – with the tournament fast approaching – Williamson was the obvious choice after she had worn the armband in England’s most recent matches.

Meanwhile, after a five-year snub of the national team due to what she viewed as subpar treatment, multiple Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg has returned to the Norway set-up ahead of this summer’s tournament.

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