Challenging Time Ahead

Last updated : 24 March 2003 By Ed_ScottishFitba
Julie Fleeting and Michelle Kerr prepare for take off
Scotland's women footballers have a hard task in front of them as they flew off to Germany today (Monday). They will be playing their opening UEFA Championship qualifier against their hosts in Berlin on Thursday. The women were promoted into the top 20 in Europe last season and this will be their fist game in the top flight. After putting up a decent show against World Cup runners up, China, recently, the women were in good heart. Would you believe that the game will be televised live from the Karl-Leibknecht Stadium in Potsdam, in Berlin.

Scotland have never faced the Germans before at this level and it may be a challenge and a half taking on an all-professional team which is considered to be one of the world's top three sides. Scotland can only boast one full-time professional, c aptain Julie Fleeting, who plays her football in the United States. Scotland's coach Vera Pauw said: "The game against Germany is Scotland's biggest ever. They have been European champions for the past four tournaments." The other teams in the group are Portugal, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. Obviously the winners will be heading to the finals, in England, with the sides finishing second and third going into play-offs.

Scotland squad: Michelle Barr, Alana Bruce, Amanda Burns, Stacey Cook, Gemma Fay, Julie Fleeting, Julie Ferguson, Mhairi Gilmour, Nicky Grant, Suzanne Grant, Pauline Hamill, Donna James, Claire Johnstone, Michelle Kerr, Joanne Love, Jane McFarlane, Suzanne Robertson, Julie Smith and Megan Sneddon.


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