The ever-present Eva Thomson has been in fine form for Aberdeen this season but is determined to get even better.
Thomson signed for the Dons from Westdyke two years ago and played an integral role from midfield to help Aberdeen win back-to-back promotions to SWPL 1.
Last season’s young player of the year has already proven her credentials in the top flight scoring three goals for the Dons in six matches.
The 17-year-old believes that playing in SWPL 1 will prove to be the best football education that she could hope to get as a young player.
She said: “I knew it was going to be a challenge, but it is developing me as an individual playing against teams like Celtic who have competed in the Champions League.
“It doesn’t feel real sometimes playing against such big opposition and Scotland internationals, but I learn from those matches.
“Being on the same pitch as the likes of Sam Kerr (from Rangers) and just being able to watch them, it makes me want to learn even more.”
Despite only playing six SWPL 1 matches thus far, Thomson believes that she has already seen an all-round improvement in her game.
She added: “My match fitness has definitely improved, in those games we are chasing the ball a lot. I didn’t think I would be able to cope with the tempo, but I have always played the 90 minutes.
“I’ve improved technically as well because in SWPL 1 you don’t get near as much time on the ball. Last season I could get away with taking four or five touches, but now we have to be much sharper.
A future Scotland star?
The young midfielder has been involved in Scotland’s international youth set-up since under-15’s level and will travel to the Netherlands as part of the under-19’s squad.
Thomson’s trajectory already has its similarities to Scotland captain Rachel Corsie and Hibs’ Rachael Boyle whose senior careers both started at Aberdeen.
While her main focus is Aberdeen’s SWPL 1 season, Thomson can’t help to look ahead to what the future might hold.
She said: “It is my ambition to be play for the women’s senior Scotland team. I have played football since I was four and I have been working hard throughout all the age groups to get where I am now.
“Being called up to the Scotland squad helps your confidence as a player because playing for your country is something that means so much
“I’m excited and nervous to go to the Netherlands next week, but luckily I’ll have a few of the Aberdeen girls there as well.”
Aberdeen continue their tough run of games against Hibs on Sunday, but the young midfielder believes it will be an invaluable opportunity for the Dons to show what they are capable of.
She said: “Obviously after a defeat like the one against Rangers you want to bounce back from that. Hibs are a very experienced team and we will prepare the best we can.
“We have worked hard in training and will take an board what Emma and Gavin have said to us and go into the game with the right attitude.
“We will take what we learned against Rangers as well and try to be more disciplined and composed. I think that Hibs are a team we can take points from, but we need to play the football we know we can play.”