The countdown to this summer’s UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship is under way, after the tournament was officially launched by two of the players responsible for sending Scotland to this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Erin Cuthbert and Jo Love were on hand to kick-start the anticipation for the event, which will see Scotland welcome Europe’s best women’s under-19s teams from 16-28 July.
The SWNT pair – on board as tournament ambassadors – were joined by Scotland Women’s Under-19s head coach Pauline Hamill and captain Amy Muir at The Simple Digital Arena for the launch, the Paisley venue one of four stadia set to be used for the competition.
Firhill, McDiarmid Park and Forthbank Stadium will also play host to tournament fixtures this summer, with the full schedule to be confirmed in due course.
Hamill’s side will be one of the eight nations competing for the trophy, having qualified automatically as the host nation.
The team has long been seen as an important stepping stone on the pathway to senior international honours, with Cuthbert and Jen Beattie amongst the current members of the SWNT to have represented their country at under-19 level.
Glasgow City midfielder Sam Kerr is the latest alumna to have been included in a senior international squad, the 19-year-old having been included in Shelley Kerr’s squad for November’s friendly with the USA.
Speaking at the launch, Love was delighted to be able to support the next generation of potential SWNT stars.
“I’m really excited to be involved as an ambassador for the tournament,” she said.
“These girls will hopefully one day line up as part of the senior Scotland team, so if we can act as role models for them in any capacity we’re more than happy to do so.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on – playing in front of your home fans at a major tournament is something you dream about when you’re growing up, so it’s a massive opportunity for them.”
Having recently returned from a three-match trip to La Manga, the anticipation is continuing to build amongst Scotland’s Under-19s players.
“The girls can’t wait for the tournament to get under way,” said Hamill.
“It’s something that we’ve been looking forward to as a group since we were announced as the host nation.
“We’re fully focused on making an impact this summer – we want to perform to the best of our ability and make sure we deliver the performances we know we’re capable of.
“Having the support of a home crowd is going to be such a great experience for us – hopefully fans will come out and cheer on their team.”