A decent sized crowd had gathered in Hampden’s Lomond Suite yesterday by the time a selection of schoolgirls from Uddingston Primary trooped in just before noon. Clad in replica Scotland kits, they arranged themselves in archetypal team line-up formation, before turning by position group to show the names and numbers displayed on their backs. Defenders, midfielders, attackers, then forwards. All streamed live on YouTube, it wasn’t a bad way for Shelley Kerr to name the 23-woman squad which will wear the colours at the FIFA World Cup in France next month.

The glitz and glamour was certainly far removed from the trappings of Kerr’s first match as a Scotland player, some 30 years ago, a low-key 3-0 defeat to against England at Stark’s Park, Kirkcaldy. “I had to pay £50 to stay in the hotel and I didn’t have the whole Scotland tracksuit to wear,” says Kerr. “I had the tracksuit top on and someone else had the bottom.

“So you can imagine how I am feeling today,” she added. “As a 10-year-old kid I had a dream of representing my country so to see the primary school children announcing the squad by turning around with the names of the players on the backs of their jerseys to show who was selected, and the ‘Our Girls, Our Game,’ campaign, it’s not just about performance for me. It’s about legacy. How do we grow the game? Because if we don’t, this World Cup might be an isolated case for us.”

As 21 years had passed since any of her male counterparts had been required to name a squad group for a World Cup finals, it emerged that this canny 49-year-old from Broxburn – who earned a PFA Scotland manager of the year nomination - had taken some expert guidance about how these things should be done. The strip gimmick might not exactly be out of his usual playbook but Craig Brown, the last Scotland manager to name a full World Cup squad, has been a valuable source of guidance. So too has been Michael O’Neill, who didn’t just lead Northern Ireland to the Euros in 2018, but took his team into matches at two of the stadia Scotland will feature at next month.

“We’ve drawn on the experience of others, because as a nation we haven’t been there for over two decades,” said Kerr. “I was at the PFA awards the other week, I was sitting next to Craig and he’s always great company,” said Kerr. “He was asking about the preparation and what I was going to do with selection and I was telling him how difficult it was going to be. So he told me about when he dropped Ally McCoist and Stuart McCall for a World Cup and he said it was so, so tough. So I asked him if he would he do mine for me. He said: ‘no chance’.”

“Michael approached me,” she added. “We met up for a coffee and he gave me some pointers. I know it’s a long time ago, but Craig Brown was the same. Craig actually said ‘have you thought about getting the players to learn a bit of French because you will have to engage and it might get the locals onside?’

“And do you know what, through sportscotland and their support, a lot of the players have done basic French lessons and the uptake from the players has been phenomenal. I think it is a good idea. If you can engage with the local community … there are so many little things that maybe I wouldn’t have thought of that have been really helpful.

“Austin MacPhee at Hearts is becoming a set-play specialist and he has offered his services as well. Malky [Mackay, the performance director] has been great because he has coached and managed at the highest level. I have had so many support mechanisms around me. It has been great to tap into so much knowledge.”

There no huge surprises in Kerr’s squad. The closest there was to a controversy was the omission of Arsenal’s Emma Mitchell. She may have climbed off the bench to grab a sensational last-minute winner against Manchester City this weekend which consolidated the Gunners’ top-flight title but as these were her only 10 minutes of action since a long-term injury lay-off, Kerr couldn’t justify dropping the emerging Nicola Docherty on her behalf. But that didn’t make it any easier to inform those who had missed out on the party.

For Kerr, the good news and bad was all delivered in a painstaking series of one-on-one phone calls between 10am and 4pm yesterday morning. “I tried to think how I would have liked things done and if I was a player who wasn’t selected I would have at least like preferred a personal phone call to hear it first-hand,” said Kerr. “I also wouldn’t have liked to have been on tenterhooks for the following 24 hours. I factored it all in and wanted to try and do things the right way, as I saw it. It was a gut feeling I had and I’m glad I did it, even if it was tough. I started at 10am on Monday and it was almost 5pm before I finished.”

There were tears all round. While Docherty came back from walking the dog to find a missed call from the manager on her mobile, eventually plucking up the courage to ring back, there were emotions too for a veteran such as Jo Love who has an outlandish 191 caps to her name. “I got back from the gym, was eating my breakfast and watching Homes under the Hammer,” said Love. “Then I answered the phone.”

So how can this Scotland team fare out there in France? Well, for starters, it is heartening just to read a roll call of Scotland stars based at top clubs like Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Fiorentina.

Further good news, as Scotland survey a group of death which contains England and Japan – two of the top three sides on the planet last time out – and Argentina is a clean bill of health for key players such as Mitchell’s team-mate Kim Little, Manchester United’s Lizzie Arnot and Manchester City’s Jen Beattie, all of whom missed out on the Euros in 2017. While atoning for a 6-0 defeat against the Auld Enemy in Utrecht, even the top four third placed teams can qualify so Kerr is correct to be bullish about the prospects of Scotland’s womenfolk achieving something none of Scotland’s illustrious male sides ever managed, making the knockout stages of a World Cup. The likes of Chelsea stand-out Erin Cuthbert, only a bit-part player at the Euros, are two years further on in their development.

One tune-up match remains, and a chance to play at Hampden Park no less, against Jamaica on May 28. Crowd estimates for now are in the region of 20,000, a figure, of course, which would compare favourably with certain matches by the men’s team. “If we can get 10,000 you’ll see a smile on my face for evermore,” says Kerr.

There is a fatalism about Scotland on World Cup duty, but Kerr doesn’t buy into that old glorious failure thing. “There’s a real good mix of youth, experience and different character,” she said. “We’ve got the jokers in the pack, and the quiet ones. When you are at a tournament there will be some real challenging moments and you have to keep away the negative thoughts. We’ve got a squad who throughout the campaign have had a real togetherness and that will be so important for us at the World Cup. Listen I don’t believe in the psyche thing.”

“Going back to the Poland game [ a crucial 3-2 qualifying win from two goals down away from home] I had people coming up to me, the staff and the players, people who hadn’t really watch the women’s game. They were saying “oh, my God, it’s so entertaining”. They showed all the characteristics of a resilient Scottish team with no hard-luck stories. I think it captivated the country.”