Two of the Scotland Women’s squad who made history by qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup believe  that Scottish Government funding will make all the difference to the team, as they prepare to travel to France for their inaugural appearance on the game’s biggest stage.

Hibs’ goalkeeper Jenna Fife and Glasgow City’s Leanne Crichton were part of head coach Shelley Kerr’s 23-strong squad for the victory over Albania earlier this month with that result securing the team’s passage to France next summer.

First Minister and SWNT patron Nicola Sturgeon announced the £80,000 bursary at Hampden Park  which will allow the squad’s non-professional players to train full-time in preparation for the tournament as of January 2019.

“It’s fantastic for the team,” said Crichton.

“We can’t thank the Scottish Government enough for all their support. The support they gave us in the lead-up to UEFA Euro 2017 certainly helped us in our preparations, and a lot of the girls benefitted from that.

“It’s not easy at times to balance work and football, and the support will certainly help us out once again.”