Women's World Cup: Who is Scotland manager Shelley Kerr?

Shelley Kerr

As Scotland's World Cup finals debut has edged ever closer, we have heard plenty from manager Shelley Kerr. But we have not heard much about her.

What is the 49-year-old like? What makes her tick? What tales do others tell about her? BBC Scotland has spoken to family members, friends and colleagues to try to paint a picture of the woman leading the nation to a first football World Cup in 21 years.

'She's like a flat-mate' - the daughter

Christie Kerr is 22 and lives with her mum in West Lothian, while establishing a career in banking. She'll be in France for the England and Argentina games.

She's more like a best pal or a flat-mate than a mum. We take it in turns to make dinner and do the dishes, but I hate taking out the bins - that's her job. And cleaning the oven. Actually, she does most of the housework, come to think of it. She finds it hard to switch off from football but, when she does, I see a different side to her. She's funny, always up for a laugh, a little bit like the class clown, actually.

We've always had that kind of relationship, but she'll still give me a row when it's needed. She's quite calm with me and I've genuinely never seen her lose her temper - she was always more disappointed than angry - so it's weird to see her shouting on the touchline.

I know she feels like she's missed a lot because she's so dedicated to her career, but I don't see it that way. She's really supportive of anything I want to do. And I'm really protective of her. I get worried about people being critical of her and really nervous watching, but I'd grown up being around the squad so I feel part of it. Mind you, I didn't realise how famous she was. She gets stopped when we're out shopping and I just stand there laughing and take the mickey. To me she's just mum, to everyone else she's this phenomenal coach.

Shelley and Christie Kerr

'She's got that stare' - the pal

Jo Love played with Kerr at club and international level and remains an integral part of the World Cup squad.

I've known her for maybe 18 years and not too much has changed. She's always wanted to perfect everything she does. She was actually my first room-mate when I came into the squad all those years ago and she made it easy for me... well, apart from the fact she gets up early. Like stupidly early. And she always used to slag me for sleeping all the time.

We used to spend hours in the car together going up and down to Doncaster with another Scotland player, Pauline Hamill. Shelley had this wee banger car that we ran up and down in and one day, when we were driving along, she just suddenly said 'ah cannae brake'. I was in the back screaming but she was just calm and composed as usual and pulled it on to the hard shoulder.

We'd had that transition from team-mates and friends to her being my manager but we can still have a laugh and I can still say what I feel because we know how each other works. If I was stepping over the mark she'd tell me, 100%. She's definitely got a temper but I've never really seen her lose it. I don't think she needs to because she always gets her message across. Besides, she's got a stare. Or sometimes the head goes in the hands for a half second. That's when you know you're in bother.

But I'm delighted for her because I know how hard she's worked for what she has achieved. She was there at day dot with Scotland when we had absolutely nothing and to be able to share all this with her is special.

'She brings out Scottishness in all of us' - the player

Caroline Weir played for Kerr at national under-19 level and was one of her first signings she she took charge at Arsenal in 2013.

I'd just turned 18 and left school. I didn't realise it at the time, but it was a huge step to go from Dunfermline to London. She was great at looking out for me and keeping me right. I've played for her for maybe 10 years now and she's always been very professional, very passionate, and very competitive. I've seen her get a little bit angry a handful of times - more so at Arsenal - and you know when it does, there's a good reason. She's very good at putting a positive spin on things, even when we think we've not played well.

Caroline Weir and Shelley Kerr

Erin Cuthbert has been a regular under Kerr since she took charge after the 2017 Euros.

She's firm, but fair and she's very patriotic as well. The team talks she does before a game bring out a bit more Scottishness in all of us and a bit of extra edge. She has such high expectations and sets high standards off and on the pitch - it's all about how we behave ourselves, respecting the surroundings, the kit, the facilities. She wants everything taken care of and every little detail to be right.

'Her best trait is her open mind' - the colleague

Scotland assistant coach Andy Thomson first met Kerr in 2015 when, though a mutual colleague, they met to discuss him being her number two at Stirling University's men's team.

Initially, I didn't think I wanted to be an assistant and I arranged to meet her thinking 'naw, it's not going to happen'. But as soon as I spoke to her I realised she was someone I could learn from. And now I'm getting to go to a World Cup. She was looking for someone to challenge her and from the first moment we've worked that way. It brings issues now and again - sometimes she ignores what I think, sometimes she takes it on board - but more often than not we get to the right decision collectively.

Her best trait is that she's got an open mind. A lot of managers have an ego - they always think they are right - but she just wants to get to the right decisions, however that is done. She'll take on board opinions. Her communication skills are top class both with male players and female and I see no difference between the changing room at Stirling and now because she tailors her approach to every individual, rather than to a gender. She knows how to get the best out of people.

Shelley Kerr and Andy Thomson

I've seen her in the men's changing room be able to forcibly put her point across. Players are left in no doubt but you can do that without shouting and losing her temper. If you come from the working class background we both do you need something about you and she's got that. When it's the stare, that's enough to put people on the back foot and you need that side as a manager. Players need to know the manager is in charge and that's been very clear in both dressing rooms I've been in with her.

Former Scotland international Steven Thompson has worked with Kerr during her appearances as a BBC Scotland pundit.

I remember we did the Hearts v Inverness Scottish Cup semi-final earlier in the season and during the game I was just messing about and not really paying attention, but she was so focused. I asked her about it and she said 'I love live games, I love analysing football'. I was probably sitting picking my nose or something but she was in the zone and I think that's how she is - quite intense, very, very thorough. She's an impressive operator, there's no doubt about it. Her ambition is huge, so hopefully we can match it.

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