Welcome to our article Scots Abroad – a feature on the trials and tribulations of Scottish players playing their football outside of Scotland.
Well its that time of year when events off the field make as big a headlines as events on the field. Who is leaving what club, where are they moving to and who is coming in?
But before all that there are some Scots Abroad who are still performing on the pitch. Rachel Corsie, fresh from winning her 100th cap for Scotland in Poland, returned to the USA in time to star in the Utah Royals 1-0 victory over runaway leaders and previously unbeaten NC Courage. The victory moves Utah up to 4th in the league and the American season continues right through the summer.
Meanwhile in Sweden Fiona Brown also returned from international duty to help Rosengard in their top of the table clash with Pitea. In a tight game Rosengard emerged 1-0 winners to close the gap in second place. However for the rest of the Scots in Sweden it was not a good weekend.
Vittsjo with Shannon Lynn in goal lost narrowly 1-0 to remain in 10th, Ife Dieke was in the Kalmar team that lost 2-0 to Limhamn while Vaila Barsley’s Eskilstuna lost 3-1 at home to Goteborg to stay 11th in the table.
The table remains very tight with only 6 points separating 3rd from 11th. In Italy Tavagnacco, in a bizarre series of events, had to compete in a play-off with Fiorentina to determine who would secure the second UWCL spot for 2018/19. Sadly for Lana Clelland it was Fiorentina who emerged 3-0 victors.
Now to events off the field and the usual transfer activity at this time of year has been dramatically increased due largely to the restructuring of the leagues in England. In summary the top tier in England has been increased as has the second tier, with new criteria requiring clubs in the top tier to be fully professional. In addition Manchester United have formed a new team and there are new entrants to the tier I in West Ham and Brighton. Moving in the opposite direction are Sunderland who have lost their tier 1 status. So what does all this means for the Scots Abroad? Well firstly there are many more opportunities for Scots Abroad as teams seek to recruit and strengthen their squads.
First big move saw Caroline Weir leave Liverpool and sign for Manchester City to join fellow Scots Abroad Claire Emslie and Jen Beattie. It will not be a quartet as Jane Ross announced she is leaving but where will she end up?
The Scots trio at Arsenal are all likely to remain, having renewed their contracts recently. There has been a mass exodus at Chelsea but as yet Erin Cuthbert has given no indication that she will be on the move during this transfer window. Major upheaval exists at Bristol where Willie Kirk left at the end of the season and many players have subsequently left.
Will Chloe Arthur and Frankie Brown still be there at the beginning of the season? Becky Flaherty remains at Liverpool and has an opportunity as there first choice goalkeeper has already left. With Bristol, Liverpool, West Ham and Brighton all seeking to recruit will the Scots Abroad ranks be swelled? Will we see a return to England of Christie Murray and will Lana Clelland move from Italy? And what off the many players currently at Scottish clubs who would like the opportunity to play professionally in England? Lizzie Arnott is now fully recovered and could be seeking a move as could a number of her Hibs team mates such as Abi Harrison, Kirsty Smith, Lisa Robertson. to name just a few.
And what of Leanne Crichton at Glasgow City. Will she, or some of her team mates also be on the move?
And what of Manchester United? Opportunities abound at this new club who are seeking a full squad of players for the new season. Expect major announcements on this front in the next few days. One player who is going nowhere is Zoe Ness who renewed her contract at Durham and will continue her link-up with fellow Scot Kathryn Hill. One thing is for sure- the transfer merry-go-round is still turning and we will bring you more news in the next edition.