Hibs Ladies player Rachel McLauchlan insists she has everything to gain ahead of Wednesday’s European Championships Group D opener between Scotland and England.
Anna Signeul’s side have already created their own bit of history as the first Scottish women’s team to qualify for a major finals. Now 20-year-old McLauchlan – winner of four caps so far – insists she and the rest of the squad are ready to give it their all in the Netherlands over the next few weeks. The tournament kicks off tomorrow in Utrecht as hosts the Netherlands entertain Norway in their Group A encounter before all attentions switch to the clash with the Auld Enemy, also in Utrecht, on Wednesday evening. The Scots then face Portugal in Rotterdam next Sunday before their final Group D match with Spain in Deventer on Thursday, July 27. “It’s a privilege just to be picked for the squad and the experience I’ll gain over here will be second to none,” said McLauchlan, who can line up in defence or midfield. “We’ve just got to take every game as it comes and, as long as we work extremely hard, then we’ll get what we deserve out of them. We certainly don’t fear any of the sides in our group but we know they are all tough opposition.”
The Scots defeated Ireland 1-0 at Stark’s Park last Friday in what was their final warm-up match before jetting out to the Netherlands on Tuesday. Napier University sports science student McLauchlan hopes she has given Signeul some food for thought after playing the entire second half.
“We’ve no idea who will be starting the opening match so we’ll just need to wait and see,” she said. “I’m hoping to be involved at some stage but we’ve studied England well. I’m the second youngest in the squad [Erin Cuthbert at 18 is the youngest] so to be going to the European Championships at such a young age is a massive achievement.”
McLauchlan isn’t the only Hibee who will represent her country this summer with Joelle Murray and Kirsty Smith also part of Signeul’s 23-player squad.
“Hibs have had a massive impact on me getting to where I am now,” McLauchlan said. “I think I’ve improved a lot as a player so having the players we have at Hibs really helps drive you on.”