It is always heartening to interview a professional player whose values remain grounded and inspiring. There was one such opportunity on Friday when I talked to Rangers midfielder Sam Kerr.

The Scotland squad has progressed from the budget hotel accommodation which used to be the norm – but even in Murcia's upmarket La Finca Resort it was obvious that while you can take the girl out of Falkirk, you can't force Falkirk out of the footballer.

Kerr spoke movingly of her deep love for older brother Andrew, who is disabled and relies entirely on carers. She has aspirations to improve his circumstances, and those of others with similar disadvantages, and these will be shared soon.

Family, clearly, matters very much to the 23-year-old. That was obvious in a video which the Scottish FA released earlier this month.

The short film was to mark Kerr winning the 2022 Scotland women's player-of-the-year award. While others might have chosen to milk the achievement, the midfielder – whose appearance in yesterday's win over Philippines was only her eleventh – reacted modestly.

“You can never compare me to Caroline Weir, Erin Cuthbert and Claire Emslie,” she asserted. “In my head they're the real winners, but it was an honour and I'm thankful to everyone who voted for me.

“My goals are to be selected every time there's a camp, hopefully learn off the older players, and fully establish a place in the team.”

Kerr agrees her performance in the 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Spain at Hampden last April was pivotal. It was the first time her grace of movement and game intelligence, so obvious at Glasgow City and then Rangers, manifested itself on the international stage.

Her Scotland debut, late off the bench, was against Ukraine in the 2020 Pinatar Cup. Eleven months later she made a second appearance, and first start, in a Euro qualifier against Portugal which was played in Cyprus.

As noted here before, Kerr's demeanour suggested she was almost deferential to her team-mates. It's not something she disputes as we talk in Murcia.

“I'm a bit self-aware as a player,” she explained. “I can be in my own head sometimes, and a bit nervous and over-think in situations.

“I compare now to what I was like back then, and I'm starting to trust and believe in myself. I've grown a lot and there's definitely a big difference.

“The Spain game was quite a turning point for my Scotland career. Before that I was seen as a young player who was in and out of squads, and not really establishing myself.

READ MORE: Scotland 2 Philippines 1: Lauren Davidson grabs first international goal in Murcia

“Pedro (Martinez Losa) has put his belief and faith in me, and the girls around me have helped a lot. The team played amazingly that night.”

Kerr might have followed in Eve Muirhead's footsteps, rather than those of Cuthbert – a Scotland youth team-mate who is only a year older – Weir and Emslie. Introduced to the sport by her grandfather, who was a coach, she was a skip for the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in Stirling.

The age of 12 was decision time, and she chose football. Ian Dibdin at Central Girls was her first mentor, and he knew when the time was right for the highly promising teenager to move on and be developed further by Scott Booth at Glasgow City.

Once again Kerr doubted her own ability. “I was so nervous to go there,” she recalled.

“I asked Scott if I could train for the first week with the development team. I trained with them for one day and Scott was: 'No, get back up with the first team.'

“At the start I didn't really play, but I was fine with that – you had players like Fiona Brown and Erin in the team. I knew it was a process to learn off them and bide my time.

“I managed to get into the team and we had unbelievable experiences like the Champions League quarter final.”

Kerr is aware she was linked with Liverpool in the January window. She says she is happy at Rangers and her aim is to help them retain the SWPL title – but a more elite league may one day entice her to move further from Falkirk.

And another thing

Firm favourite of this column, Elsie Cook, features in the first episode of a new three-part television series called The Women Who Changed Modern Scotland.

Presented by Kirsty Wark, it airs on BBC Scotland at 10pm on Tuesday with the hostility towards women's football in the 1960s and 70s one of the topics.