Ten years ago, Anna Signeul arrived in Scotland as coach of the women’s national team.
A decade on, still in the post, she’s in a completely different place.
Signeul leads her side against Australia this afternoon (Thursday) at The Falkirk Stadium with the game on the rise.
“I would never have expected 10 years ago to be where we are now with women’s football in this country,” Signeul told Heraldsport.
“So much has changed. When I took over Scotland were not known for women’s football. Now people are more than aware.
“Things had to change. We brought training forward in the day to try to help. That meant some players asking to work different hours during the day but it was important and it has worked.
“We changed the season to a summertime too so more games were going ahead and less were off because of bad weather.
“We were in tier two and now we are in the top 22. We have just had Glasgow City performing so well in the Champions League quarter-final too.”
The Swedish coach has selected an experienced squad for this afternoon, including Leanne Ross, the Glasgow City midfielder from Stenhousemuir.
But they will face an equally experienced side with significant resources. Australia are ranked 10th in the world and travel almost like a club unit and have been camped in various countries before arriving here in Falkirk.
“In some ways that’s something you’d like to have as a coach, a close team unit which is always together and you’re always working with them a lot of the time,” added Signeul.
“But we have players experiencing different things at different times in different places with their clubs, who bring those experiences together as a squad and that is good too. Glasgow City for example have players who have had their Champions League experiences, but there are other teams doing really good work too. Glasgow City have had the exposure for the Champions League but there are good players coming through all over the country - and in Falkirk too like Leanne Ross and Nicola Docherty, who is unfortunate not to be in the squad.
“Australia are up there with countries like Germany and USA – the really top teams in the world, so this will be a good match for us and for the crowd.
“We’ve played at the Falkirk Stadium before on the artificial surface there, so we know what to expect. But I hope that Falkirk people will turn out. It’s the school holidays and I think it will be a good match to watch this afternoon.”
Adult tickets are £5, children go free. Kick-off is 2.30 p.m. at The Falkirk Stadium.