WITH so much happening around the Scotland women’s national football team, it stirs up many occasions when I take a wander down memory lane. This week was no exception as Scotland recorded a historical win in a friendly match against Brazil in Spain.

Over 20 years ago I received a request from the Brazilian women’s FA to take a team over to play three games. This was a wonderful opportunity, however at that time as a predominately self-funded organisation, the cost was way out of our reach. However, not to be put off by our pleas of poverty, they advised that the cost of the whole trip would be covered by them! You can guess the reply.

We travelled in style to São Paulo in December and stayed for around 10 days. Whilst the football may not have set the heather alight there are many things I remember about this trip. The poverty so visible in the streets, with people of all ages begging. The weather, changeable, just like Scotland, but their extremes are extreme. Having been advised that we couldn’t go to training because it was going to rain, my thought was we have rain in Scotland, it’ll be fine. So after liaising with the coach at the time, Miller Hay, we decided to take a chance. On the return to our hotel, the heavens opened and cars were floating about the street as we got to around a foot of rain in a short space of time.

Also, a trip to watch the local team prepare for the carnival was an eye-opener as they invited the squad to participate and just under two hours later, having danced their way round the hall without a break, the were allowed to sit-down and relax. The games themselves also had an edge to them as after sitting in the stand for the first game along with the substitutes, I was advised it would be safer to be on the bench and to re-enforce that, they had two armed police posted at each end of the dugout. However, the spirits were high and the camaraderie was immense.

With one more friendly to go before the World Cup in France – Scotland v Jamaica on May 28 at Hampden – I know that Shelley Kerr will embed that team spirit and morale at this pivotal moment in women’s football history.