Ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, I had the pleasure of catching up with Northern Ireland U17 goalkeeper, Ellie Scott. With the majority of the media attention fixed firmly on the thirty-two teams competing at this summer’s tournament, this interview offers a refreshing take as Scott looks to cement her place in the national team setup for years to come.
“One of the best moments of my life”
Ellie Scott plays her club football for Glentoran Women – one of the most successful sides in the Sports Direct Women’s Premiership. The talented young ‘keeper credits the move as ‘a massive point in my career’, adding that ‘it’s been incredible playing with senior international players, and it’s really helped me develop personally and as a player.’
Scott has proven her quality over the last few years, but highlights last season as one of the most memorable moments of her career thus far. ‘My team went a whole season without conceding a single goal, which is the first time in the league’s history that that has ever been achieved.’
Scott’s performances have ensured she’s been recognised by the national team setup, and she mentions one particular game as ‘the best moment of my life.‘
‘It was last March and we were playing in the U17 EUROs qualifiers – and I got told a few hours before [kickoff] that I’ll be starting against Luxembourg,’ Scott added, ‘to top it all off, I ended up getting Player of the Match on my debut. It was a proud moment for me personally, and a day I’ll never forget.’
But the ‘keeper appreciates that her career thus far hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing. While she states that ‘I haven’t really had any low points in my career’, she adds that though ‘there have been squads that I’ve missed out on, but in the long run, I think that pushed me harder and helped me to develop even more.’
“I hope to be playing in England”
Like many youngsters who grow up enamoured with the beautiful game, Scott’s aspiration is ‘to hopefully go professional.’ She adds that ‘that’s always been my goal, and I’m going to keep pushing for that as long as I can.’
The goalkeeper briefly delved into a little more detail, mentioning that ‘in five years’ time, I hope to be playing in England and also making my senior international debut.’
“We had hundreds of people watching us play”
Scott credits England’s success at EURO 2022 as being the driving force behind the increased interest in women’s football. As she points out, ‘we’ve seen so many more matches televised, seeing the Camp Nou sold out twice and the Emirates also just really shows how far women’s football has come. Ten years ago, these teams would probably have only had a few hundred coming to watch them – and now they have almost a hundred-thousand.’
But for the young goalkeeper, she finds that it has also affected attendances closer to home, adding that ‘the attendance at our games this season has grown significantly. Even with the U17s, we had hundreds of people watching us play which was incredible.’
The Sports Direct Women’s Premiership has also seen increased interest, with Scott mentioning that ‘we played a league match with almost 900 spectators which was just unimaginable last year.’
“The USA will win it”
To wrap up our interview, I asked Ellie Scott for her predictions ahead of the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup. She believes that ‘the USA will win it’, while ‘with the injuries England have had, they’ll underperform.’ Scott also singled out Australia as potential underdogs, given their home advantage.
FromTheSpot will be bringing you coverage of every game throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including previews and detailed reports. We’ll cover games in the buildup to the tournament too, so you can get a feel for the potential favourites ahead of action getting underway in Australia and New Zealand.