Addie Handley opens up about what it is like to travel the world with Scotland and her life as a full-back at Hearts

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Travelling the world with your country isn’t something many players get to experience in their career however, Hearts ace Addie Handley has been doing it since she was 14 years old.

Capped at Under 16, 17 and 19 level for Scotland, the young full-back has been playing for her national team for years. Trips to Portugal and Spain while competing against the best young players in the world are part and parcel of the 18-year-old's career as she continues to make exceptional progress on the pitch.

“It's brilliant, I love it”, she told the Edinburgh Evening News. “I’ve gained so much experience playing against the top teams. I’ve been doing it since I was quite young, playing against the likes of Germany and stuff. They are top teams and top players. Again, it’s just about putting yourself against these top teams and these top players and just seeing if you can compete. If you can, that’s brilliant.”

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The 18-year-old made her Scotland debut way back in 2019 for the Under 16’s against Portugal in Monte Gordo. Since then, the full-back has participated in multiple tournaments including the 2020 Pinatar Cup which is a personal favourite of hers.

Addie Handley's side faces Celtic in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals next. Credit: DAVID MOLLISONAddie Handley's side faces Celtic in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals next. Credit: DAVID MOLLISON
Addie Handley's side faces Celtic in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals next. Credit: DAVID MOLLISON

“I was away with the Under 17’s in the Pinatar Cup, just before COVID and that was a really good trip”, she added “It was just a little tournament. We played three games, and it was the first time I thought this was good, I am playing well for Scotland. I was really pleased I could be part of that trip. Unfortunately, the camp got cut short by COVID, but it was really good fun.”

Despite being seen as traditionally a midfielder, Handley is currently making strides as a full-back for the Jam Tarts. Since coming back into the team against Motherwell last month, the former Hibs player has more than impressed, bombing down the flanks to provide an attacking threat as well as keeping the backline rock solid.

“I’ve been here a season now, so this is my second season and I feel I’ve been working hard”, she stated. “I’m really glad that I have got the opportunity because that’s all I can really ask. I spoke to Eva [Olid] and I told her that I felt pretty confident in the full-back area because I wasn’t necessarily being seen there. I was really happy that she gave me an opportunity against Motherwell and clearly, I did enough. I’m really pleased about it. All I can ask for is the chance.”

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The future certainly looks bright for the 18-year-old for club and country. Eventually, the full-back hopes to break into the A squad for Scotland describing such a privilege as an “honour”.

“That is a long-term goal, I would love to do that”, she said when asked about making the senior squad. “It would be such an honour to play for Scotland. I guess it’s just seeing how I go and take small steps each day, each year, each season to try and make it towards it. But it would be brilliant, it’d be so good, I’d love it.”