Claire Emslie: 'Crazy week' for W-League Grand Final preparation in Australia

Claire Emslie of Melbourne City celebrates with teammates after scoring her team's first goal during the W-League semi final
Claire Emslie celebrates with team-mates after scoring her team's first goal during the W-League semi final

Scotland forward Claire Emslie should be full of nervous excitement about going for glory in Saturday's W-League Grand Final with Melbourne City.

Instead, she admits the coronavirus outbreak has made it a struggle to focus on football during a "really stressful" build-up.

Australia has kept playing amid the pandemic and the women's season-ending showpiece against Sydney FC will take place behind closed doors in Melbourne at 04:30 GMT on Saturday.

"This week has been a bit crazy," Emslie said.

"It's mixed emotions really. The last two days have been really stressful off the pitch because obviously countries are going into lockdown.

"We've got a few internationals so are we going to get home? Will we be stuck in Australia? Where are we going to live? All that sort of thing is going through players' heads.

"Hopefully borders stay open, so everyone is kind of settled in that respect for now.

"We are just trying to focus on the game. I'm looking forward to playing, it's a final, and knowing it's probably the last game I'm going to be playing in for a while until everything settles down, I will definitely make the most of it."

'We've tried to keep it a normal training week'

Melbourne City ended the regular season unbeaten last month to claim the Premiership title in Emslie's first campaign on loan from Orlando Pride.

And the 26-year-old Scot opened the scoring in the 5-1 semi-final thrashing of Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday as her side swept into the Grand Final.

"The game has been changed to behind closed doors, but we are lucky it is still going ahead," she added.

"The coronavirus hasn't really hit Australia as hard other countries yet, although the last two-three days things have changed rapidly.

"Even the men's games are still going on here, everything is just behind closed doors. If we are allowed to play of course we are happy to, as long as everyone is safe.

"We've tried to keep it a normal training week. We've got a final to play, that's all we can really think about, and try not to get too stressed about what's going on on the outside."

Emslie ready for W-League Grand Final