HAVE boots, will travel. It's an old football saying, and the title of a 2014 book. And although she is still just 22 years old, particularly applicable to Rachel McLauchlan.

When the versatile right-sided player joined Glasgow City from Yeovil Town in the summer, she was signing for her fifth senior club. This afternoon, in the final of the SSE Scottish Cup at Hampden, she will play against another – Hibernian, with whom she won the trophy in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“I'm not going to lie – she's a fantastic player and I would prefer her to be in our squad,” admitted Hibs captain Joelle Murray. “But she's obviously not, and we have to make sure we keep her quiet.”

Keeping McLauchlan quiet, on or off the pitch, isn't easy as she has an irrepressible love of football. It all started in the family's Livingston garden, but when they upped sticks and moved to Avoch in the Black Isle the travelling really began.

“I was eight when we went up there and I was lucky to start playing with Ross County Boys,” McLauchlan, whose preferred position is right back, while also a highly effective attacking wing back, pointed out. “That's when my mum had the easy life – the travelling for the family started when I was 15.”

Incredibly, this period saw McLauchlan turn out for Deveronvale (a round trip of 165 miles) and later Methven (240 miles). There were also midweek regional training sessions in Aberdeen and Dundee. McLauchlan's mother is a pharmacist and her father an aircraft engineer – they must have wished they owned one.

“My mum started taking time off work – I owe my parents a lot for they've done for me,” the player acknowledged. McLauchlan's first senior club was Inverness City and she stayed there for 18 months before joining Aberdeen for a similar period. Allan Smith, who was then head coach, would meet her off the Inverness train and take her to training and games.

A move to university in Edinburgh and the national performance academy established some equilibrium, with McLauchlan becoming a key player in the Hibs side which won both domestic Cups for three successive seasons.

Anna Signeul gave McLauchlan her first cap in 2016 when she came on five minutes from the end of a 7-0 friendly thrashing by the Netherlands in, ironically, her home town of Livingston. She played four more times under the Swede, including starting the Euro 2017 group game against Portugal, but has made only two more appearances – the last of them 20 months ago – under Shelley Kerr.

Like so many of her Hibs team-mates, McLauchlan moved south, but quickly discovered the streets of Yeovil were not paved with gold. She had barely started with the Women's Super League club when they went into administration early this year.

“I wanted to try professional football,” McLauchlan said. “I still had to do my dissertation, so I went down to Yeovil but had to keep travelling to Edinburgh. That was also interesting . . .

“I initially went to Yeovil for a week to see what it was like, and after that it was a no-brainer. Lee Burch was the coach and he and the rest of the coachin staff were excellent. I learned a lot being down there and I'm glad I went.

“The club were good about the financial problems. They talked us through it, and told us exactly what was going to happen. It was unfortunate, but everything ran as smoothly as it could have until the end point.”

Securing McLauchlan's signature in July was a real coup for Scott Booth. She plays at right back in the – very few – tight games her team faces, and with more abandon going forward in the rest. Her presence has been a big factor in City reaching the Champions League quarter finals.

The player has already twice been on the winning side in league games against Hibs, but today's final is on an entirely different level. Hibs, having successfully defended the League Cup, are aiming for an eighth successive domestic knock-out trophy.

In each of the previous seven they have beaten today's opponents, usually in the final. For the wearer of the armband, Murray, it would be a tremendous personal achievement to make it eight – and all the more so for this passionate Hibs supporter as the game is at Hearts' ground.

“First and foremost lifting the Scottish Cup for the fourth successive time would be great, but to do it in a Hibs strip at Tynecastle would be absolutely fantastic,” the central defender pointed out.

“Hopefully we'll have Sunshine on Leith in the background as well . . .”