Scotland's Women Play With Pride

Last updated : 08 September 2002 By Ed_ScottishFitba
As a counter balance to the indifferent form displayed by the men's national team, the women's international side is going from strength to strength. To day they will take on the World Champions, USA, in Ohio to show what they can do to justify their place among the top 16 teams in Europe. The fact that they were invited over to play shows that they have been noticed. Do you think that the men would be invited over to play Brazil anytime soon? The FIFA rankings over the last few months have shown the men's team steadily slipped down the world rankings to a lowly No.63. And that is without yesterday's result against the Faroes being taken into account.

Perhaps Vera should give Berti a call
The opposite is true of the women's team. They have been claiming the rankings (thanks to a recently departed foreign coach, Vera Pauw) and now face the ultimate test against the USA in their own back yard of Columbus, Ohio. The women's game in the USA is on a professional standing with huge crowds watching. Not bad when you think that the men's game has never taken off over there despite several millions of dollars being spent over the years. Their women only took up the game in the early 1970s and currently dominate the women's game, and won the World Cup within 20 years. The American men's team are now in the World's top ten thanks to their success at the World Cup in Korea and Japan. But they are very much in the shadow of the women

Perhaps it is time for the highly paid professionals that were on the field in the Faroes to go and watch just how committed the women are to raising their game. There are few professional players in the squad and they have to play outside the country. We all know about Scotland's top striker, Julie Fleeting, moving to take up a career in the USA, with some of her international team-mates. Others are willing to play in Iceland and Sweden as they strive to improve their game.

Julie Fleeting - willing to travel to learn about the game
We wrote a while ago about the fledgling Women's Premier League being set up this season in an attempt to stop the best players heading abroad. The teams that are in the league will be helping promote the game to encourage others to join in. More and more girls are playing football these days, with around 17,000 taking part competitively every fortnight - and more than 4,000 registered with the Scottish Women's Football Association. How many men are registered and play regularly without pay? The hunger has gone out of the men's international game. You or I would pay money to be mentioned as a possibility for the squad. Some players appear to believe their own publicity. Would Rangers really have bought Kevin Kyle after seeing the game yesterday? Alex McLeish should send a thank you card to Peter Reid immediately for blocking the move.

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