Wednesday 31 July 2019, 06:35

Corsie: Scotland's World Cup experience was really enjoyable

  • Scotland captain Corsie says it was “powerful moment” to be at a World Cup

  • Outlined that expectations are now much higher for her team

  • Praised her country’s fans as “the best in the world”

‘No Scotland, No Party’ will be imprinted in the memories of those who attended any of Scotland's matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

The chant echoed around stadiums from the thousands of Scottish fans who were attending their first Women’s World Cup, and their country's first senior World Cup since the men participated 21 years earlier at France 1998.

For captain Rachel Corsie, leading her team out in their three matches, two years after her side had made their debut at a major tournament at the UEFA Women’s EURO, was an unforgettable experience.

But while stepping on to the field in Nice for their debut was a significant moment for the Utah Royals defender, it was the team’s arrival in the area, soaking up the atmosphere, that brought home the enormity of their achievement.

“It was a really powerful moment for me when we walked around Nice and along the beach, seeing all the fans that had travelled to France. It was reward for everything we had achieved,” she said.

“Prior to the tournament, you get an understanding that your role [as captain] off the field is going to be just as important on it. You appreciate that you’re there to be good at putting others before yourself.

“But the group was so well connected, which made the whole experience really enjoyable, because you knew that you were all in it together.”

Ultimately the tournament ended in heartbreak for Scotland, with a dramatic late comeback by Argentina denying them progression into the knockout stages after a pulsating and nail-biting 3-3 draw. Corsie admitted that fans probably didn’t see the best of her team, who showed only “glimpses” of what they are capable of.

“As players we gave everything but it’s not about effort as that’s expected,” she said. “There were individual moments that didn’t go to plan and we didn’t achieve our targets, which we’ve been really honest about.”

Despite the Scots' first round elimination, the fans in France made clear their pride in the team with chanting in the streets in Paris immediately after the Argentina match, while the long-term effect on women’s football in Scotland should see the national team continue to progress.

Youngsters such as Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert shone in the tournament, while the team received unprecedented attention back home, with Corsie and some of her team-mates even having murals placed around Scotland before the competition to raise awareness of their participation in France.

“There has been a knock-on effect and we need to use that to grow the game and work hard on the structure of youth football," said Corsie. “We need input from the men’s game, shared resources, and we need to have a strong domestic league - all this will help the national team.”

Corsie outlined that expectations would now be higher for Scotland, with the goal now to qualify for the 2021 Women's EURO in neighbouring England.

For now, the defender is back with her club in Utah Royals and has seen the buzz around women’s football in USA, following the Stars and Stripes’ triumph in Lyon.

The Royals had a crowd of over 17,000 in their first game after the World Cup, while crowds in Chicago, New Jersey, Tacoma and Portland also saw big numbers.

Corsie was full of praise for the fans turning up in their thousands in the NWSL over the last few weeks, but she saved her last word for the Tartan Army, who came to France, sang their hearts out and ensured the Scots attracted a lot of attention.

“Our fans did a great job - they’re a passionate group who encouraged others to get behind us,” concluded Corsie. “There’s just something about being Scottish and how you carry yourself. We have the best fans in the world.”

Scotland fans show their support