CAROLINE Weir says tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at Hampden will be her side's toughest test to date. The sides are second and third seeds in Group B and a win would put Scotland in pole position to at least finish second in a five-nation group led by Spain, who are among the best teams in the world.

Ukraine hold good memories for Weir, as she was handed the captain's armband the last time the sides met. That was at the Pinatar Cup just before the start of the pandemic last year and Scotland won 3-0 with goals from Martha Thomas (2) and Claire Emslie.

“Obviously being captain for the first time was a hugely proud moment,” the Manchester City midfielder confirmed. “It was in March before the Covid thing started. I've got fond memories of it and we won the game as well.”

The temporary custody of the armband was awarded by Shelley Kerr, but both Scotland and Ukraine will have new head coaches tomorrow night. Pedro Martinez Losa was appointed as Kerr's permanent successor just before qualifying began, but Lluis Cortes will be having his first game in charge of Ukraine, having only met his new players for the first time on Monday.

Weir crossed paths with Cortes in last season's Champions League when he was the Barcelona head coach. Manchester City lost 4-2 on aggregate when the side met in the Champions League quarter final, and Cortes went on to guide the Catalan side to a 4-0 triumph over Chelsea in May's final.

He resigned at the end of the season and earlier this month, to much bemusement, he was appointed Ukraine head coach. His new side are a middle ranked women's team, but although he has had next to no time to prepare for tomorrow's game Weir is expecting him to make an impact.


“He's a top coach,” the 26-year-old pointed out. “We had a tough time against Barca last season.

“Ukraine are going to be well organised and players are always wanting to impress a new coach. He definitely knows football and the women's game so he'll have his team well drilled and it's going to be tough.”