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Rachel Corsie on Scotland’s Euro 2025 qualifying opponents, and bid to sell alcohol at SWPL games

This week, Scotland captain Rachel writes about the Euros draw and alcohol at Scottish domestic games.

Scotland, led by captain Rachel Corsie, in a team photo before a match at Hampden.
Scotland, led by captain Rachel Corsie, will begin their Euro 2025 qualifying campaign in April. Image: Shutterstock.

Finding out Scotland’s European Championship qualifying opponents means we now know the challenge which lies ahead of us.

We have been drawn in a group with Serbia, Slovakia and Israel for the upcoming Euro 2025 qualifiers, which start in early April.

I feel positive about the draw. It’s not specifically because of the opponents, but more so because knowing what the challenge is going to look like gives you a sense of relief.

The nature of the schedule meant the draw was done quite last minute, but we have known what pot we would be in for quite some time and could assess what that might look like.

We also knew what our ambitions were going to be. We want to finish top of the group.

But when you don’t know your opponents, the apprehension can weigh on you. It’s good to find out exactly who we will face – and, it is fair to say, it is going to be a tough campaign.

When you looked at the pots there were always going to be some difficult fixtures no matter who we were drawn in a group with.

But if we want Scotland want to reach a major tournament then you have to prevail from those situations.

We feel good about the draw, especially in the sense that there could have been away games further afield – and the travel does have a big impact.

Scotland get raw deal again with away game openers in two of three camps

The exact dates of the fixtures were also confirmed this week and there is only one camp where we get to play our first match at home on a Friday night.

In our Nations League campaign last year, we always had to play our first game of a camp away, and that does make a massive difference. I honestly think it is unfair.

England, across the Nations League and Euro qualifying, will have played a home game first and that is favourable.

It is not something we want to dwell on and it is not an excuse, but it is an unfortunate circumstance we will have to deal with.

Another factor we will have to contend with in qualifying is the final round of group games taking place in mid-July, which is almost a month after the club season ends for most of our players.

That is still a while away, but there will probably have to be a training environment set-up between the end of the club season and the international window.

It is impossible to think we could turn up to such important games having not played any football for the best part of four weeks.

The only silver lining, if you can call it that, is it is going to be the same for everybody. Each nation will have the same struggle and it is not favourable for anyone.

Trialling the sale of alcohol at women’s games in SWPL a worthy experiment

It was reported this week Scottish clubs were looking to explore a loophole in legislation which would allow alcohol to be sold at women’s football matches.

The sale of alcohol at men’s games, other than hospitality packages, has been banned since 1980.

As long as trialling alcohol at women’s games in the SWPL can be done safely, then I think it is a worthwhile experiment.

I am a sports fan generally and I know being able to have a drink in moderation is part of the enjoyment and entertainment that people associate with going to a sporting event.

There is a track record and a history of trouble with alcohol in the men’s game and we obviously would not want that seeping into the women’s game.

I have written in the past about why it is important to open up the marketing of the women’s game and something like this could help it cater to different demographics.

Pictured is a pint of beer being held by a fan at a football match.
Should Scottish football fans be able to enjoy an alcoholic drink at matches? Image: Shutterstock.

It is important we don’t pigeonhole the women’s game into being just for families. Of course, we want families to feel welcome and safe, but if this is something which could bring value to a different group of fans and it involves them more in the women’s game,  then it can be a positive development.

When I played in America fans could buy and drink alcohol at games and I never encountered any issues related to that.

SWPL fixtures picked for broadcast should be incentive for bottom-six sides not selected

The SWPL have announced the fixtures for rounds 23 to 29 which have been selected for broadcast.

There is currently only one game from the bottom six – Montrose v Motherwell on May 5 – which will be shown live on television.

I can understand why the players from teams who have not been selected will have been left disappointed.

The game is still in a growth phase and it is important we showcase the women’s game in Scotland as much as possible.

However, not being selected for TV should act as an incentive for those at board level of the bottom-six clubs to do more to give their players a better opportunity to finish inside the top half of the table.