Christy Grimshaw watched on television when Scotland Women played in their first World Cup finals and dared to dream of following in their footsteps.
The 25-year-old had returned from playing college football with Barry Buccaneers in Miami in the summer of 2019 and had taken up the offer to move to French club FC Metz.
The Kirkcaldy-born midfielder was inspired by the Scots playing on the big stage and vowed to take any opportunities presented to her to make the same journey.
A move to Italian side AC Milan in 2020 brought international recognitions and – after two caps in friendlies against Wales and Northern Ireland – she hopes to make her competitive debut against Hungary in Friday’s 2023 World Cup qualifying match in Budapest.
Under new head coach Pedro Martinez Losa, Scotland host the Faroe Islands next week with Ukraine and top seeds Spain also to be negotiated.
Grimshaw recalled the 2019 finals, saying: “I was just coming back from America and was just about to sign my first professional contract.
“I was watching the World Cup in the summer and I knew I was going professional and I was thinking ‘this is the dream, definitely, I need to get myself in the squad for the next one’.
“Obviously it takes work hard, that is the important thing and just taking the opportunities.
“I was in France with a bit of a lower club and as soon as AC Milan came in, I knew that would be my opportunity.
“I had a few options to choose from and I thought, ‘if I get myself to a big club and I am playing regularly, that gets my name out there’ – and obviously my name did get out there.
“I knew that was the opportunity I had to take so that I could get to this stage now.
“We are not fearing anyone.
“We are all talented players and if individually we can do our best, then together we are so strong.”