Scotland women’s defender Frankie Brown has revealed her excitement to be back at La Manga – and this time preparing for a World Cup.
The Scots head to France in the summer after clinching a place at the tournament for the first time.
Their new year preparations are set to get going in earnest tonight with a friendly against Norway in the Spanish resort.
Confidence is high after the successful qualifying bid and tight 2018-ending 1-0 loss to world champions the United States.
Brown, pictured, who thinks the experience of getting ready for the 2017 European Championships will help many of the players thrive as Shelley Kerr’s team build towards France, said: “It’s so exciting.
“The last time we were here was almost exactly a year ago and qualifying for the World Cup, while still our aim, was just a dream.
“A year on, having achieved that, being back here preparing for the tournament is very exciting.
“A lot of the youngsters who went to the Euros have now matured and are having really great club seasons.
“The likes of Erin (Cuthbert) and Caroline (Weir) make it a really exciting time for us.”
Tricky attacker Cuthbert was sensational in 2018 and, with Mintlaw midfielder Kim Little of Arsenal not in the squad having just come back from a broken leg, she could bring the spark against the Norwegians.
Aberdeen’s Rachel Corsie, who is normally skipper, is also absent, having remained with Canberra United in Australia, where she is on loan from Utah Royals.
Of the opposition, Brown said: “We played Norway this time last year, which was a tough game.
“It’ll be interesting to see how we’ve developed over the last year. We’ve got a few injuries so the squad will be a bit different, but I’d be hoping that we’ve improved and that we can cause them a few problems.”
Norway present a significant obstacle to Kerr’s Scots – they were unbeaten in their own qualifying campaign for France.
They won the World Cup in 1995, but will be missing the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg, who is on an indefinite break from the international game, despite being only 23 years old.
Still, Brown thinks the “fantastic” performance against the USA has boosted Scotland – who also play Iceland in La Manga on Monday.
She said: “I’ve been around the squad for a long time but haven’t played a lot, so playing against the USA gave me a lot of confidence.
“The performance by everyone that night was fantastic.
“We rattled them a wee bit and I think they underestimated us.
“It was brilliant for us and we can take real confidence from that game.”