Wednesday’s Cyprus Cup victory against the Netherlands was the perfect way to finish the tournament for Scotland defender Frankie Brown.
The Bristol Academy full-back starred in the 3-1 win, and believes that it was a result that reflected Scotland’s dominance in uncharacteristically boggy conditions in Ammochostos.
Speaking to the Scottish FA website, Brown said: “It was a really good performance from the girls. It was slightly tougher conditions but it was brilliant to get a result like that against a good team like the Netherlands.
“The match was different from the previous games. You cannot ignore the fact that the conditions make a difference to how the game is played but, importantly, we did not let it phase us.
“The pitch was a bit marshy, and it rained quite heavily the night before, but I guess we are used to that sort of weather.”
Kim Little, who later received the top goal scorer for the tournament with five goals in four games, scored all three goals for Scotland against the Netherlands. The Seattle Reign midfielder has admirers throughout the world of women’s football, and Brown is no exception.
She said: “Playing in the same team as Kim is the best. She is the best player I’ve ever played with, and will probably be the best I’ll ever get to play with. Kim is just such an asset; you know she is available for a pass, and when she gets the ball she will almost always retain it, despite the best efforts of the opposition team.
“She is just exceptional and outstanding, and her hat-trick was very well deserved.”
Scotland National Coach Anna Signeul used this year’s Cyprus Cup as a way of introducing up-and-coming talent into the A-squad. The Swede’s squad included four players who starred for Scotland Women’s U19s last summer at the UEFA European Championships in Norway, as well as Hibernian’s 20-year-old full-back Kirsty Smith.
“I think that the bringing in of younger players has been so important for us, and the Cyprus Cup has been amazing for allowing us that opportunity to do that,” Brown said.
“The performances of the younger players coming through have been so impressive.
“For players such as Kirsty Smith, Fiona Brown and Chloe Arthur to be coming through to the A-squad, it’s creating a brilliant dynamic inside the camp. We’ve got competition for places all over the pitch, and the morale of the squad is positive.
The Cyprus Cup has also allowed Signeul to fully identify the depth of talent she possesses within her squad. All 21 players in the Scotland squad got game time during the tournament.
The quality of player at the coach’s disposal has also been one of the major positives from the tournament, Brown believes.
She said: “The Cyprus Cup this year has given us the luxury of being able to give these players chances. The tournament gives opportunities to players, and the depth of our squad has meant that we can rotate players throughout the four tournament games.”
Scotland won two and lost two of their four matches in Cyprus, with the victories coming in the final matches against Korea Republic and the Netherlands and Brown, who’s club side play Frankfurt in the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals at the end of the month, feels that these wins were crucial in reflecting the progress the squad has made.
Brown said: “The fact that we have ended the tournament well is crucial for momentum going into the EURO 2017 qualifiers. The entire tournament has been extremely positive, but it is important that we got those two wins at the end to reflect our progress.
“We’ve learnt lessons from the defeats against Canada and Italy, but we definitely have a lot to look forward to.”