WOUDENBURG, Netherlands: Scotland are relishing every moment of their women’s European Championship debut, bracing for a battle of Britain against England next week, coach Anna Signeul said on Sunday.
“I am enjoying every second of it, it is carpe diem, it is enjoying the moment, it is every second, every day, just finally being here and having that smile on your face,” said the 56-year-old Swede.
“I’m also very proud of what we have achieved coming here, but I’m also very proud of where we have come as a nation, with the whole girls’ and women’s football.”Scotland, who qualified for their first major tournament in the Netherlands after finishing runners-up to Iceland, face arch-rivals England in their opening Group D match on Wednesday.
“I think it’s great to have that game,” said Signeul, who is due to take over the Finnish national team after the tournament, having served 12 years at the Scottish helm.
“It will be a very, very tough game for us but I think it’s good.”So far Scotland have won just a single game against England, drawn twice and lost 21 times, including all six competitive encounters.
“I think England will focus on winning every day, it doesn’t matter what opponents are standing against them,” Signeul said of the Lionesses, who finished third at the 2015 World Cup in Canada.
“They play with a lot of self confidence, they have successful players in their team and they have been successful, so it’s a confident team that we play against, we know that.”Several Scottish players, including Manchester City striker Jane Ross and Arsenal midfielder Lisa Evans, will come up against their teammates from the FA Women’s Super League.
“We have so many players playing in England, it’s their best friends and their friends, so it’s a little bit special like that as well, but I think that we definitely are up for the challenge,” said Signeul.
Defender Frankie Brown, playing for Super League side Bristol City, said there might be “an element of advantage” in the fact that the players know each other well.“But I think that club football is put aside in these situations, the international scene is so different,” said the 29-year-old.“I’d just say it’s another international game and we need to treat it exactly the same as any other game.”