With over 60 caps for her country, Liverpool’s Christie Murray embodies the grit and determination of an exciting Scotland team that are set to head to France this summer for their first-ever World Cup tournament.

Having qualified for the Euros in 2017, Scotland now prepare to embark on a journey into uncharted territory. But they do so with the support of a nation – they won their final friendly ahead of the tournament in front of a record home crowd of 18,555 at Hampden Park. We recently sat down with Christie to talk all about the Scotland team and the belief in the camp, as well as her first season with Liverpool and her new deal with New Balance.

It’s massive for Scotland to be appearing in their first-ever World Cup finals. How proud are you to be named in the squad?

Oh it’s a dream come true to be named in the 23. Representing Scotland in their first World Cup; it’s a proud moment for me and my family, and I just can’t wait to get out there.

Where were you when you got the news?

I was in my room getting ready to go training, we had fitness testing that morning with Liverpool, because it’s the end of the season. My phone was ringing and it was Shelley (Kerr) our manager and I was like, oh no, I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing because usually that’s not how we find out. So I answered it and she was like, “How’re you doing?” and I was like “Yeah… I’m OK…” So then when she told me it was like a huge relief and obviously I was delighted as well. And then I had to go training. But I was over the moon. 

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How did your family react when you told them?

They were delighted. As soon as Shelley phoned me I phoned my Mum and Dad and they were obviously proud and they’ve booked to come out and watch some of the games. It’s a big moment for them as well, because they’ve supported me through my whole career too. I wouldn’t be where I am without them, so I wanted to share that moment with them.

What are your hopes for the tournament?

We want to qualify from the group, that’s our aim, and then see where that takes us. I just can’t wait. Hopefully I’ll get involved in the games as well and play a part in helping the team.

As a group, you’ve done massively well to make it to the World Cup. But it doesn’t stop there, as I’m sure Shelley has made clear. What’s the group mentality going in?

We want to enjoy every minute of it, but we’re excited and ready for the challenge. There’s obviously a lot of good teams at the World Cup now, we believe in the quality that we have as a team so it will be a chance for us to test ourselves against the best.

Shelley Kerr signed you for Arsenal and you’ve now worked with her at Scotland as well. How important is it to have a good rapport with the manager?

I think it’s very important, not only as a footballer but especially on a personal level. I think understanding your nature and what motivates you is important in order to help get the best out of you on the pitch, and I’m very lucky that I have that kind of relationship with Shelley.

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What do you think the difference will be between playing weekly in the WSL compared to the World Cup?

I think it is just another step up again. Of course now the WSL is full of talented senior international players, but when you get to an international game I think it’s even more demanding, tactically, technically and physically because it’s the best players from every country.

You’re set to play England in the opening game of your campaign. How do you feel about that? You must know a lot of the English girls?

Yeah we do, and a lot of players in Scotland now play in England so there is that kind of familiarity. It’s also exciting that it’s our first game, it will be a great challenge that we’re really looking forward to.

You’ve played 60 games for the senior national side. How has the group developed over that time?

Massively. We’ve all had the experience of playing tournament football in the Euro’s, so even over the last two or three years we’ve grown as a group. We’ve pretty much grown up together, a lot of the girls have played for Scotland through the different age setups, from under 15s to senior. So from where we started to now, you can see in the group how much we’ve grown. We’ve qualified back-to-back major championships and are now setting off for our first-ever World Cup, it’s a very exciting time for women’s football in Scotland.

You played in that amazing comeback victory against Poland that went a long way to securing Scotland’s place at the World Cup. How was it and how did you feel at 2-0 down?

I think just coming back in general, it’s shown that we have the mentality to do that as a group and when those things happen, you realise how strong you are as a collective. Even when we were playing the game, we were playing well and dominating, just not putting chances away. Sometimes when you play those games you can start to get a bit frustrated and try to do things that you don’t normally do. But I think we stuck to our game plan and the way we play and showed a bit of grit and never-say-die attitude, and that’s something that we’re very proud of. So it was a good moment for us and it was a massive part of securing our qualification.


You mentioned a never-say-die attitude around the squad at the moment, typified by the fact you came from behind in four of your seven victories in qualifying. Do results like that give the squad the belief that anything is possible?

Yeah and because we’ve got such a strong togetherness both on and off the pitch, it definitely helps when you come through tough moments in a match, we know we can get through it together. That’s part of the Scottish-ness as well, we will fight and we will never be done until the final whistle goes.

The women’s game is moving from strength to strength at the moment. What’s it like from your perspective?

It’s really good to see. Coming from playing amateur level for a long time and then coming into the professional game, it starts to grow, especially in England. It’s brilliant and I think that for us as a national team, qualifying for the World Cup, that’s brought it home. The last few days I’ve had people that I didn’t even know followed us or the women’s game saying congratulations, we’ll be watching you. And that’s never really happened before, so for me that’s definitely exciting and it’s also cause for hope, even on a personal level for the Scottish team, it can definitely help grow it further and then inspire the next generation to come and push on even more. So it’s exciting. It’s going to be a really exciting World Cup to be a part of as well and hopefully, again, that can, as a whole, push the women’s game forward again.

Growing up, there mustn’t have been many female footballers in Scotland for you to look up to. How does it feel knowing that you’re a potential role model for a whole new generation of up-and-coming footballers?

It’s a bit mental! But it’s obviously something that, with the game moving on, it’s a responsibility that we’ve got; we want to be good, positive role models for all the girls and boys coming through in Scotland. Football’s a game for everybody and you just want to be a positive role model to show that you can follow your dream if you work hard and show dedication.

You’ve recently signed with New Balance. How did that come about?

I got a few pairs of boots to trial when I was on camp with the national team, and I loved them to be honest. Normally I’ll just wear new boots a little bit, just for 10-15 minutes, but I put them on and I ended up keeping them on for the whole session. For me they were really comfortable, which is something that I find hard in boots. From then on I spoke to the New Balance team and they were excited about working with me and I was excited about working with them, so it kind of went hand in hand. The most important thing for me was the quality of football boot, and that excited me – I love the new Tekela.

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You’ve just finished your first season for Liverpool. How was it?

It was good. It was a whole new group, so that was always going to take time for us to gel and find out how we were going to play as a team. We were unfortunate to lose our manager so early on, but I think again, as a group, we stuck together and finished the season with some good performances and in terms of some the results that we had, especially beating Everton in the last game of the season. We’ll probably add a few players to strengthen so hopefully we can build on that going into next season.

You finished on a high, with success over Everton in the Merseyside Derby. You put in a couple of beautiful crosses that led to goals. How did that feel?

Great. Obviously I was delighted to be involved in them. It’s something that we practice every day with the girls, so it’s good to see the hard work from training pay off.

You recently signed up to Common Goal. Tell us a bit about that?

Yeah, one of my friends, Jane Ross, she had been with Common Goal and I’d followed it when it first came out. It was always something that I wanted to get involved with. I think what they do is brilliant – it’s using the power of football to help others and I’m passionate about helping other people. For me it was a no-brainer. So it’s just trying to build the awareness of it and get more footballers involved. I think there’s a lot of women’s footballers involved in it, which I think is great given that our wages are nowhere near what maybe the men’s are but it’s supporting something you’re passionate about, and I’m passionate about helping people. For me that’s something I’m proud to be part of.

Christie Murray will wear New Balance Tekela at the World Cup this summer and they are available from prodirectsoccer.com