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Rachel Corsie: My delight at imminent Scotland Women return after missing last camp in April

'I never take being called up for granted,' writes the Scotland skipper who has been named in the 22-strong squad after missing the last camp due to injury.

Rachel Corsie lines up as Scotland captain ahead of a match at Hampden.
Rachel Corsie, far right, has been named in the Scotland squad for upcoming friendlies against Northern Ireland and Finland. Image: SNS.

It’s always an honour to be called up for Scotland, and even more so after missing the last camp due to injury.

We host Northern Ireland in a friendly in Dundee at Dens Park on July 14, before flying out to play Finland in Tampere four days later.

I missed the April camp – when we beat Australia and Costa Rica – because of a knee injury, so it’s really nice to be included again. I never take being called up for granted.

This should be good window for me to get some valuable sessions and, hopefully, minutes after missing most of the run to the end of the WSL season with Aston Villa.

I returned to play in our last game against Arsenal, but I only just made it and no more.

Rachel Corsie in action for Aston Villa against Arsenal on the final day of the season. Image: Shutterstock.

After the injury, I feel this Scotland camp will be a good chance for me to get back in a team environment before we return to pre-season with Aston Villa in late July.

The off-season can feel like a long break, but there is only a short period of time where you are actually off, and it is great when you do get back to doing sessions as part of your own programme – even if some are more enjoyable than others!

Upcoming friendlies a chance to work on details as young talent continue to be involved

For the friendlies, Scotland manager Pedro Martinez Losa has called up Rangers’ Kirsty MacLean and London City Lionesses’ Amy Rodgers for the first time.

I saw Kirsty play for Rangers a few times last season and have heard a lot of good things about her. At only 18, she’s a real promising young talent.

I’m looking forward to training with her and Emma Watson, 17, who impressed during the last camp and scored twice on her Hampden debut.

It’s really exciting to see the younger generation coming through. They have had a much more expansive development and have been exposed to a high standard so early on in their careers.

And it’s important for other young players to see players like Kirsty and Emma break into the team because it shows what is possible through hard work.

We want to be at be qualifying for future major tournaments, so the talent breaking through now can help us as a collective to achieve our aims.

As for our aims during this camp, it feels like a chance to really focus on Scotland.

Northern Ireland and Finland will be good tests, but the priority should be for us to work on the things we want and need to work on.

It can be difficult to do that in qualification games because they are often geared towards the opponent. They are high-stake encounters which don’t lend themselves to working on specific details.

Emma Watson, centre, celebrates with her Scotland team-mates after scoring at Hampden. Image: SNS.

Against Northern Ireland, I will come up against my club team-mate Simone Magill, who has been recalled to her national team for the first time after sustaining an ACL injury almost a year ago.

I saw Simone’s rehab at Villa and she did so well. She put in so much hard work and was ahead of the curve the whole way. It’s great to see her back playing.

Marta going to her sixth World Cup reflects iconic status

There was one name that caught my eye when Brazil’s squad for the Women’s World Cup was announced: Marta.

The tournament which is being held in Australia and New Zealand starts on July 20 and will be Marta’s sixth time at a World Cup. It’s an incredible achievement, even more so considering she is 37 and has just recovered from an ACL injury.

There is no doubt Marta is football icon, and some might argue she is the best female player there has ever been.

Marta in action for Brazil. Image: Shutterstock.

I have played against her for Scotland and when I played my club football in America. She’s a very humble person who respects everyone she plays with and against.

Meanwhile, I was glad to see my former Aston Villa team-mate Ruesha Littlejohn be selected for the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup squad.

Ruesha, who is from Glasgow, is a friend of mine and someone who has been part of my journey from the very beginning – we grew up playing in Scotland’s youth teams together.

She’s had a difficult time with various injuries over the last season or so, and I know she was a bit anxious whether she would make the squad or not. I’m delighted she has been selected as I know how much it will mean to Ruesha and her family.

SWPL teams find out UWCL opponents

Glasgow City and Celtic found out their respective Uefa Women’s Champions League qualification opponents on Friday.

Reigning SWPL 1 champions City will host Irish side Shelbourne, while last season’s runners-up Celtic travel to Denmark to play Brondby.

If City win their qualification semi-final, they will play either Cardiff City or Lithuanian side FC Gintra in their final Round One match of the champions pathway.

Celtic will go on to face Belarusian side Minsk or Valerenga of Norway if they win their Round One league pathway semi-final.