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Everything you need to know about Women's Euro 2017

Scotland are one of five countries to make their tournament debut.

History makers: Scotland's women qualify for their first major competition.
History makers: Scotland's women qualify for their first major competition. SNS

After a tough qualifying campaign, Scotland's women's side made history by reaching their first major tournament.

Anna Signeul's squad are now in the Netherlands ahead of the start of the European Championships which kick off on Sunday.

If the fact Scotland will have a women's team at a major tournament wasn't enough, their European Championship debut will be against England on Wednesday.

Here is the lowdown on everything you need to know before a ball is kicked in the Netherlands.

Where and when is the competition? 

On December 4 2015, The Netherlands where chosen to be the host country for the 2017 Women's European Championships.

From July 16 to August 6, 16 countries will compete to be crowned champions of Europe.

The matches will take place at seven stadiums in seven cities: Tilburg (Koning Willem II stadion), Breda (Rat Verlegh stadion), Utrecht (De Galgenwaard), Rotterdam (Sparta stadion), Deventer (De Adelaarshorst), Doetinchem (De Vijverberg), Enschede (FC Twente stadion).

The final of the tournament will be held in the FC Twente stadion.

The stadium in the city of Enschede is better known to many as De Grolsch Veste (The Grolsch Fortress), due to a sponsorship deal with the local brewer. In 2011 tragedy struck during the redevelopment of the stadium as a roof collapsed, killing two construction workers and injuring many more. The stadium seats 30,000 spectators.

Who will Scotland play?

Scotland have been drawn in a difficult group for their first major tournament. They will play their games in Group D of the Euros and will face off against rivals England, as well as having to play Portugal and Spain.

Group D in full: England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal.

When England play Scotland in Utrecht on July 19, it will be the 25th senior international between the teams. England have won 21 of the previous 24 clashes.

The Scots then travel to Rotterdam to take on Portugal on July 23 at the Sparta Stadium. Anna Signuel then takes her squad to Deventer at the De Adelaarshorst to take on Spain in the final group game.

Who else is taking part?

A record 47 teams entered Euro 2017, with the qualifying process eliminating 31 including competition newcomers Andorra and Moldova.

Despite being the 15th edition of the tournament, this will be the first time 16 countries will be competing in the compeition. The format has been expanded from 12 teams originally to the now 16-team format.

Although Scotland will be making their debut at the competition they are not alone. A total of five countries will be making their competitive debut at the EUROs.

As well as Scotland the other teams who qualified for the first time are Belgium, Austria, Portugal and Switzerland.

Two teams progress to the quarter-finals from each first-round group, which line up as follows:

Group A: Holland (hosts), Norway, Denmark, Belgium

Group B: Germany (holders), Sweden, Italy, Russia

Group C: France, Iceland, Austria, Switzerland

Group D: England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal

Who should we look out for in the Scotland team?

Scotland will be missing 121 caps of top-class experience after star player Kim Little was cruelly ruled out of the tournament by injury. In her place responsibility falls on Glasgow City star Leanne Ross to drive the Scots forward.

Jane Ross finished as joint highest scorer in Euro qualifying this time around, with 10 goals to her name.

Scotland will be led by national team coach Anna Signuel. The former Swedish player has been head coach of SWNT since 2005, and will leave the role after the tournament to manage the Finland instead.

STV Sport have taken a closer look at the Scotland squad making the trip to the Netherlands, examining the 23 women who will be making history for Scotland.

What's the prize?

The obvious prize is the Women's European Championships trophy, but playing in a major tournament could give SWNT much more reward in terms of exposure in the media and in prize money for the future.

41,301 watched the final between Germany and Norway in Stockholm four years ago. That was a tournament record but can it be beaten this time around?

As well as that, the tournament will be broadcast on terrestrial television with Channel 4 covering the competition from the opening ceremony to the final.

The 2013 finals in Sweden offered total prize-money of 2.2 million euros (£1.95m) but that rises sharply to eight million euros (£7m) for this tournament. UEFA announced the champions will collect 1.2 million euros (£1.05m), with rewards sliding to 300,000 euros (£265,000) for teams eliminated in the group stage.

And the important stuff... what's the mascot like?

The furry mascot is a cat called Kicky. She is said by organisers to be a girl cat, whose boyfriend is the men's national team's mascot Dutchy. With a winning perma-grin, her multi-coloured shirt and orange shorts are intended to signal neutrality - but those big eyelashes are a giveaway.

How do we follow the action?

Channel 4 bought up the TV rights last autumn and will be showing matches involving England and Scotland.

The tournament's official Twitter handle is @UEFAWomensEURO and its recommended hashtag is #WEURO2017. News from the Scottish camp can be found at @ScottishFA.

STV Sport's Sheelagh McLaren will be in the Netherlands for Scotland's opening match on Wednesday. You can follow her on twitter @sheelaghmclaren.

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