Emma Brownlie believes her move to Everton will give her the perfect platform to push into the Scotland national team.
The 25-year-old joined the Toffees from Hibernian on Thursday, reuniting with boss Willie Kirk and assistant Chris Roberts. Both Kirk and Roberts signed Brownie during separate spells in charge of the Hibees.
Having represented her country at youth level, the former Celtic defender says the chance to turn professional with the Toffees is another step on the road to senior honours.
Scotland are set to compete at this summer’s World Cup in France, where they will battle it out with 2011 champions Japan, Argentina and domestic rivals England in Group D.
“It has always been my aim to push on into the seniors and be capped by Scotland,” said Brownlie. “I have played for the Under-19s, so I want to now force my way into the senior squad.
“It was fantastic from the girls qualifying for the World Cup. That has been great for Scottish football because it has created a buzz around it. We have all got that to look forward to in the summer.
“I believe coming into a professional environment here at Everton will help me do that. Having to work full time and then train at night [at Hibs], I felt the right move for me in my career was to go and play professionally and push on.
“It has been my dream to be a professional footballer since I was wee. It is great to be able to live that dream now.”
At 25, Brownlie brings experience to a young Everton squad. She helped Hibs secure a League and Scottish Cup double on three occasions during her four years with the Edinburgh-based club and has targeted silverware south of the border.
And in Willie Kirk, a coach she knows well, she is confident success can come sooner rather than later.
“The future is bright for this squad,” she added. “There are good young players in there and that’s good because Willie and Chris have a track record of bringing that type of player on. The squad will only get better moving forward.
“Willie has brought along a few players from Scotland and pushed them through in England. He has shown that already and I can see him replicating that at Everton.
“I have come here off the back of being really successful at Hibs. I had four really good years up there and there is no reason why that can’t continue here. I have come down here to win trophies.
"You want to do the best you can do and my first game could be an FA Cup tie against Chelsea – what a massive game to go straight into."