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Rachel Corsie: SWPL 1’s first broadcast on Sky Sports had everything you wanted – it’s a shame what happened after

A 99th-minute Celtic equaliser meant a dramatic end to their clash with Rangers. It's disappointing disgraceful behaviour afterwards has dominated the headlines.

Celtic's Caitlin Hayes scored a 99th-minute equaliser against Rangers. Image: Shutterstock.
Celtic's Caitlin Hayes scored a 99th-minute equaliser against Rangers. Image: Shutterstock.

It was great to be involved in SWPL 1’s first-ever game on Sky Sports.

I joined former Scotland international Suzanne Winters on punditry alongside presenter Eilidh Barbour for Rangers v Celtic on Monday evening.

As expected, it was a really entertaining occasion with Sky providing all the production bells and whistles for viewers, while the players delivered on the pitch as it finished 1-1 after a 99th-minute Celtic equaliser from Caitlin Hayes.

The reigning league champions had taken the lead through Brogan Hay late on in the first half.

But it was the drama after the full-time whistle which unfortunately dominated the headlines as Rangers coach Craig McPherson appeared to headbutt Celtic boss Fran Alonso.

There is no room for behaviour like that in football. It’s a real shame the incident has continued to be the big talking point from the game.

But the game was still a positive milestone for Scottish women’s football.

Rangers players dejected after conceding a late equaliser against Celtic. Image: Shutterstock

I wrote last week about how I felt a league game being shown on Sky felt so far off when I last played domestically in Scotland, and I reiterated that point on-air on Monday evening.

We’ve got to this point because of the increased investment from the clubs and organisations – the improved infrastructure means Sky Sports now want to get involved and want the partnership to be successful.

The match itself had everything you wanted from a derby.

I felt, for the most part, the quality of football showcased the women’s game in a positive light.

There was some good talent on show and the equaliser – which was the last kick of the ball – highlighted the sheer passion the players, staff and fans have for their respective clubs.

Rangers were deflated, and Celtic elated.

It’s just disappointing those emotions got the better of some of those involved at Broadwood Stadium.

Rangers winger Emma Watson deserves Scotland call-up

For me, the standout performer on Monday was Rangers’ Emma Watson, and it was great to see the 17-year-old’s club form be rewarded with her first Scotland senior call-up.

Emma teed up Hay for Rangers’ opener and the winger caused havoc until she was substituted in the dying minutes of the game. She was deservedly named player of the match.

I worked with the Scotland under-16s squad a few years ago when Emma would’ve only been about 14 years old, and I remember thinking how talented she was at such a young age.

She’ll be involved with Scotland for the upcoming friendlies against Australia and Costa Rica, which will be a different kind of challenge for her, but one I’m sure she’ll embrace.

Rangers’ Emma Watson, right. Image: Shutterstock

In recent years, we’ve not had many players as young as Emma make the step up to senior international football. When I was her age, it was something that was quite common, but mostly because there was a lack of players to select.

She’s only 17, but there is a point where your age is irrelevant – if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.

At her age, though, she’ll get some time to settle in and adapt to the demands of the levels required, because it will be a step up from playing at her club.

But if she is to reach her full potential, being exposed to the national team can only be a good thing for Emma.

I hope she really enjoys the camp and I’m sure she’ll do well.

Scotland squad includes new faces while others miss out – including me

I won’t be involved in the upcoming Scotland camp after having knee surgery on Friday.

It’s disappointing to miss out – I can’t remember the last time I was unavailable for selection – but I’ll work hard throughout my recovery to make sure I can return as soon as I’m able.

There are good incentives for me to get myself back fit, and playing before the end of the season, because we still have a lot to play for at Aston Villa.

That’s motivating and there will be another international window in July which I can aim to be a part of.

It’s important to have things like that in the calendar which I can work towards.

Scotland skipper Rachel Corsie. Image: SNS.

As well as Emma Watson, Pedro Martinez Losa named two other uncapped players – Rangers captain Kathryn Hill and London City Lionesses forward Sarah Ewens – in the Scotland squad for the April friendlies.

When players are performing well at the top level for their respective clubs, they absolutely deserve their chance to be involved with the national team.

It will be a good opportunity for them to experience the demands of playing for Scotland, because it can be a big step up from playing domestically.

Players have to come in and demonstrate different skills and physical capabilities, which can often be the biggest challenge when trying to establish yourself within the national team.

The players who have been selected before, but have missed out on a call up this time around will be disappointed, but it’s good to have squad depth and competition for places.