Few footballers ever walk on to a pitch with the sound of the spine-tingling Champions League anthem ringing in their ears.
But that’s exactly what Buckhaven’s Emma Mitchell experienced last week as her Glasgow City side headed into European action.
Emma’s team, which dominates the women’s game in Scotland, entered the Champions League last 32 stage after trouncing its opposition in a recent series of qualifiers in Serbia.
Their prize was a two-legged fixture against the seeded Icelandic side Valur Reykjavik, which resulted in a 1-1 draw in the first women’s Champions League game to ever be played in Scotland.
City will look to win away from home tomorrow (Thursday) in the second leg.
Emma, who appeared as a substitute owing to her recovering from a knee injury, told the Mail: “To be honest, we were quite disappointed with the draw as we felt we dominated the game.
“Considering we were the underdogs, we were the better team, but we ended up letting them back into the game.
“They were very physical, as you’d expect from a Scandanavian team, and created a couple of chances, but we know we can go across there and win.”
The build-up to the fixture attracted the sort of media attention the women’s game has never seen before, leading to a bumper crowd at City’s Petershill Park.
Emma, who has also represented Scotland at U19 level, said the occasion was something to savour.
“They played the Champions League anthem when we walked out, so that was a great experience,” she said.
“In the build-up to the game, we’ve had TV cameras at training and people wanting to speak to us and it’s all been really good for the women’s game in this country.
“We had 740 people watching the game and you’re normally lucky if we get just 40 on a Sunday.”
Laura Montgomery from City said she hoped Emma would be fit for the return leg and her return would be a “huge boost”.
Emma has extended thanks to Bob McPhail and Wayne Gilbert for their sponsorship.