Cuthbert leads support for 17-year-old Easdon after online criticism

Erin Cuthbert has led the support for Partick Thistle goalkeeper Ava Easdon after the 17-year-old was criticised online following her side’s Sky Sports Cup final loss to Rangers.

Easdon, who is on loan from fellow Scottish Women’s Premier League side Glasgow City, helped Partick to their first-ever elite cup final but was criticised in the wake of a 4-1 defeat at Tynecastle.

The teenage goalkeeper has received widespread support from the football community, with Scotland midfielder Cuthbert among those to offer backing.

“Ava’s a terrific young goalkeeper coming through the Scotland ranks so that’s important to say,” Cuthbert said. “One mistake won’t define you.

“I was disappointed with a mistake I made against Man City and you’ve got to get back up and show yourself again and that’s when, more than ever, you have to just find another way. Mistakes happen, it’s part of football.”

Erin Cuthbert has thrown her support behind 17-year-old goalkeeper Easdon
Cuthbert called her young compatriot ‘a terrific young goalkeeper’

Scotland national team manager Pedro Martinez Losa also threw his support behind Easdon.

“We have to have a strong opinion on supporting Ava, obviously,” he said. “A young player, who is 17 years old, who is competing excellently this season for her club.

We are a sport in development and we all have to be aware of that and protect players.

“If we want players like her to develop and play in the national team, we have to create a safe environment where they are going to play and make mistakes. We have to understand that mistakes are a part of the evolution.

“The problem we have now is we are accelerating the progress and the evolution so there are other people involved, and we can’t control that.

“I just want to show my support from the head coach position of the national team. I want to show my support to a player who is playing exceptionally. She is very brave to compete in a final.

“She has been put in that position, she is dreaming of being a football player, as are many girls in the country. And, by the way, she is playing very well.”

Easdon makes a save during the 4-1 Sky Sports Cup final loss to Rangers
Easdon makes a save during the 4-1 Sky Sports Cup final loss to Rangers

Asked about the online criticism, Scotland captain Rachel Corsie said: “We see that a lot now. It’s even more worrying that people feel it’s OK to do it towards younger players.

“It’s not welcome in sport. To bully and target people is not acceptable. It’s horrible and it’s not warranted.

“There’s a difference between critiquing in the game, there’s a difference between having an opinion on things and how you choose to use your words and speak about people.

“You have to have room to make mistakes. You’re going to make mistakes in your career. Pretty much every goal that’s scored, there’s a mistake in there. That’s how, often, we learn.”

What’s next?

Up next for Partick Thistle is a home match against Hearts on Sunday at Petershill Park, with kick-off at 12.10pm.

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