Tuesday's Nations League draw didn't do Scotland any favours. The six game group starts with an away match against Euro champions England on September 22, and ends with the return against the same opponents on December 5.

With double-headers against Belgium and Euro 2017 winners Netherlands in between, the group is as tough as it could get – and brought back memories of a nine month period in 2016 and 2017 when Scotland played all three nations.

First up, four weeks after the team had qualified for their first major tournament, were the following summer's hosts, Netherlands. Six different Dutch players scored in a 7-0 win at Livingston's Tony Macaroni Arena, with Vivianne Miedema getting two.

The start of 2017 brought better performances and results on two separate visits to Cyprus – during the first Anna Signeul announced she would be joining Finland after the Euros – but an April friendly against Belgium in the atmospheric city of Leuven changed the mood music. Scotland were in the midst of big injury problems and were beaten 5-0 by the home side.

With nine players missing in total , Signeul gave debuts to two central defenders who had never previously been in a Scotland squad. Vaila Barsley started the game, and despite Belgium's ascendancy was impressive before being substituted on the hour by the second newcomer, Sophie Howard.

Three more friendlies followed before the day everybody had been eagerly awaiting finally arrived in Utrecht. That, too, proved a chastening experience, with England winning the Euro group game 6-0 and Jodie Taylor kicking off her tournament with a hat-trick.

Although subsequent defeats against England and Netherlands were less punishing, these results give an indication of how difficult the Nations League group could be. The positive is that the high quality of the opposition should encourage good attendances, with the one against England, in particular, having the potential to finally break the five-figure barrier for a Scotland competitive home game.

No venues have been announced yet, but the three at home will be played on Tuesday nights in September, October and December. Presumably they will all be at Hampden, but there would be a strong case for July's friendly against Northern Ireland to be taken to a different city.

Young fans elsewhere deserve opportunities to watch the national team. Otherwise there is the risk of a Glasgow monopoly of all the showpiece club and international games.

There was another SWPL title twist on Thursday night when Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 at the Excelsior. Any other outcome would have taken the defending champions out of the equation.

With just four games remaining, Glasgow City are five points clear of their two rivals and once again the only side who have the title outcome in their own hands. But they also have the toughest run in – as well as a potentially difficult game against fourth place Hearts at Petershill Park this afternoon, they have to play both Celtic and Rangers away from home.

The first of these games, at Celtic Park on Thursday night, is huge for the hosts. Fran Alonso had, rightly, made much of his side having the momentum following recent good results, but that ended against Rangers and another loss to City would finish their chances of a first title should the latter win today.

The Celtic manager was very critical – as was Caitlin Hayes, whose header appeared to have put Celtic ahead – of referee Gary Hanvidge's decision to instead award a free kick to Rangers three nights ago. However, TV replays showed the match official made the correct call as Natasha Flint was impeding Rangers goalkeeper Vic Esson.

On such fine margins are titles decided and, like it or not, Celtic and Rangers supporters will now have to unite in hoping City come unstuck in the run-in.

The departure of Scotland women's under-19 head coach Pauline Hamill on Tuesday “to explore other opportunities” ended a 31-year association with the women's international sides. The former forward is one of Scotland's most distinguished players, with 132 caps and 21 goals (as established by historian Andy Mitchell, and different to the figures which appear on her SFA profile page) in a career spanning from 1992 to 2010.

The latter year was also when Hamill started her coaching involvement with Scotland age group teams, and she moved up to the under-19s in 2017. Highlights of her playing career included becoming the first female player to reach 100 caps, and she remains the fifth highest Scotland scorer of all time, just ahead of Rachel Corsie and Erin Cuthbert.