Pedro Martinez Losa revealed that Scotland are set to be joined in their upcoming camp by a baby after Emma Mitchell was included in the latest squad 10 months after giving birth.
The 29-year-old Reading player has been recalled to the group for her experience and high standards ahead of the friendly against the Netherlands at the start of September and the final World Cup qualifier against Faroe Islands a few days later.
And Martinez Losa explained that arrangements are in place to allow Mitchell’s little girl to be present with the squad.
“I know her (Mitchell) very well,” said the head coach after announcing his squad.
“She is a competitor, a player with experience. We want players who can bring the standards up and have the character to do it.
“She’s a very energetic player and she’s really excited about coming back. Yesterday we spoke about the logistics of bringing the baby in camp and I think it’s pretty much all sorted and we will have one more member of the team with us!
“We will all have to co-operate because this is our first experience (of having a baby in camp) although I have experience as a dad!”
Martinez Losa believes it is important that giving birth and looking after a young child should not be seen as prohibitive to a woman’s career prospects.
“I think this is another opportunity to prove in another area that things can be done and how they should be,” he said.
“A player like Emma who has an incredible value and feels very proud to play for Scotland has to be included in the camp and has to be still dreaming about playing at a World Cup and continuing her career.
“One aspect of the progress of the game in Scotland is to create these role models. I’m not saying we don’t have it but we have to encourage women to lead and to have these responsibilities and opportunities.
“We have to provide a platform to empower women and to make other girls grow and believe that this is possible. It should be like that.”
Martinez Losa is aiming to continue building a sense of unity within his squad as excitement grows ahead of their World Cup play-off in October.
The Scots secured a top-two place in their qualifying group back in June, but their pathway to next year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand will become clearer after the groups conclude next month.
“All the players and all the staff are looking forward to it, and I hope all the country,” said Martinez Losa.
“I’m counting every single day until the day comes. We have to try to enjoy the journey.
“The difference could be minimal (in terms of qualifying or not) and I think the energy we create between ourselves can be the difference. We have seen examples in sport of unity and energy.
“I am a passionate coach about tactics but I think human connection and strength of a group can beat any barrier and can bring us to success consistently.
“All the players are a little nervous I think because of the responsibility they have but it is also our work to make this journey enjoyable. It’s about representing a nation.
“At the moment we are not wanting credit for reaching the play-offs but we are in the position where we want to be so we have the feeling that we have direction, a vision and a plan.”