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Scotland's Hamill encourages 'positive mentality'

A Scotland team featuring "exceptional players" will not be overawed when they encounter European heavyweights Germany, France and Spain according to coach Pauline Hamill.

Pauline Hamill celebrates scoring against Russia
Pauline Hamill celebrates scoring against Russia ©SFA

Scotland coach Pauline Hamill has promised that her team will play with a "positive mentality" when they take on European heavyweights Germany, France and Spain in Group B of the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship.

"It's a brilliant opportunity for the girls to show what they can do," explained the 41-year-old former striker, who earned a record 141 Scotland caps after making her international debut in 1992. Hamill also bestowed lavish praise on a number of her nation's "exceptional" talents including "fantastic" forward Alyshia Walker, who struck six times in as many games in qualifying.

UEFA.com: how much are you looking forward to the finals?

Pauline Hamill: We are so excited about playing in these finals. To get there was a dream, a brilliant achievement in itself; then to draw the three best teams in Europe was amazing. It's a brilliant opportunity for the girls to show what they can do.

UEFA.com: What was your reaction to being pitted against Germany, France and Spain?

Hamill: It's a big ask for us against Germany, France and Spain and you do look at the other group and think, 'yeah we might have a better chance of qualifying,' but that's football and we just have to get on with it. We have nothing to lose but we want to keep getting better and show we're a good team, so we do put that pressure on ourselves. These girls are ambitious and they want to get better.

UEFA.com: It seems to be a positive time for the women's game in Scotland?

Hamill: Over the years a lot of hard work has gone into women's football in Scotland and it's now beginning to pay off. The national team are doing well in their World Cup campaign, Glasgow City have raised the profile again in this season's Champions League, we have got to the finals and the U19s, U15s and U16s are doing well also. Success breeds success and hopefully we can add our own chapter to that success story.

UEFA.com: Who are the players we should be looking out for in the Scotland squad?

Hamill: The strength of our team is our group mentality and players working together, but, having said, that we also have exceptional players within that group. Alyshia Walker is a fantastic striker and will be one of the youngest players at this tournament [at 15 years of age]. Midfielders Erin Cuthbert and Eilidh Sinclair are another two to look out for along with [centre-back] Georgie Rafferty, but as I said our strength is as a group.

UEFA.com: What can you realistically achieve at these finals?

Hamill: For development purposes, these games are going to be massively important for the girls. We have played 13 internationals this year and they've grown and developed in all of them. I am excited to see how they will compete. This will be the best ever experience for them and we will go into these games with a positive mentality looking to hold our own against the three best teams in Europe.