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Gervaise predicts Scottish success

Scotland coach Tony Gervaise is confident that the first-time finalists can more than hold their own in Hungary.

Spectacular run
It is Scotland's first qualification for these finals, but their results in getting there suggest great things. In the first qualifying round they travelled to Moldova and defeated Ukraine 6-0, Belarus 13-0 and the hosts 5-0. Then, in the next stage, Belgium were beaten 3-0, hosts Portugal 2-0 and Israel 4-1 to seal Scotland's place. Israel's goal came after the Scots had already managed 31 without reply.

'Quite outstanding'
Following the Israel game, Gervaise said: "Overall the performance of the latest group of players was quite outstanding. They competed at a very high level throughout, and when you consider they have now played in six ties to reach the finals and conceded just one goal along the way it is even more impressive."

'Tough group'
Should they need extra motivation in Hungary, their campaign starts on Wednesday against 2003 semi-finalists England, the 'Auld Enemy'. Two days later come 2003 champions France, followed by 2004 semi-finalists Russia. Gervaise added: "This is a very tough group but we are looking forward to this challenge with confidence.

'Excellent opportunity'
"It will be an excellent opportunity for our players to develop and gain experience on this challenging and high-profile European stage." And Gervaise is keen that they gain a semi-final berth and a chance to enter the 2006 world championship.

Semi-final aim
"I'll be disappointed if we don't make the semi-finals," he said. "We have the ability to get that far. I don't think the girls realise yet how much they have achieved, but they will do when they get to Hungary and see all the razzmatazz that goes with this level of UEFA event."

Scott out
There has been one setback, though. Aberdeen FCL midfielder Sharon Scott suffered a knee injury in last month's two-game friendly series against Finland in Glasgow, ruling her out of the tournament. In the matches against the Group A contenders, Scotland won 3-0 then lost 2-1.

Scotland squad
Diana Barry (Whitehill Welfare LFC), Clare Gemmell (Arsenal North LFC), Kathryn Bennett (Raith Rovers LFC), Fay Hughes (BYC Carnoustie LFC), Frankie Brown (Whitehill Welfare LFC), Suzanne Lappin (Glasgow City LFC), Caroline Collie (Chelsea LFC), Pamela Liddell (Hamilton Academical LFC), Lesley Condie (Queen's Park LFC), Joelle Murray (Hibernian LFC), Leanne Crichton (Whitehill Welfare LFC), Nicola O'Donnell (Arsenal North LFC), Claire Crosbie (Rocky Mountain College), Danielle Pagliarulo (Whitehill Welfare LFC), Erika Duncan (Newburgh LFC), Jayne Sommerville (Glasgow City LFC), Emma Fernon (Glasgow City LFC), Hollie Thomson (Civil Service Strollers LFC).