Speak to Fiona Mearns, captain of the Dundee United women’s team, and the first thing that strikes you is playing for the Tangerines is not just a hobby, it’s serious business.
At 26 and with experience of the women’s game on both sides of the Atlantic, making her skipper was probably not a difficult choice for head coach Gavin Beith.
But while, as a life-long Arab, Mearns views the armband as a huge honour, that alone was not enough to persuade her to sign up.
What did was the professionalism of Beith and everyone else involved in the new Tannadice venture.
She turned down top-flight Hibs to head for United because she believes the newest club in the leagues can become a major force.
Mearns does not pretend it will be all plain sailing but, having tasted Premier League football with Forfar Farmington and the Dundee United Social team before heading to Concorde University in West Virginia on a two-year scholarship, she knows what it will take.
And United have it.
“I’m really delighted to be at United and be made captain, especially with all the players we’ve got,” she said.
“We have a few other experienced players so I am happy to have been asked to do the job.”
As well as an honour, it’s a big commitment — one that comes on top of her full-time job as a personal trainer in Dundee.
“We’ve been doing a lot of training, we’ve been working together since June but that’s what made my mind up to come here.
“When I went to America it was full-time and I was training three times a day. It was a commitment of six to eight hours a day playing or training and I absolutely loved it.
“When I came back and signed for Jeanfield in the Second Division, I was really regarding it as a kick-about.
“My ambition had always been to go to America and, having done that, I wasn’t really thinking about playing seriously any more.
“Then I was top scorer and helped get Jeanfield promoted and I really started to get into it again.
“Halfway through last year I went to the Hibs Development team in the First Division as well and I finished the season there.
“But I’d been training with United and I decided then I was going to them. Hibs asked me back, but I was really enjoying it here.
“I saw the vision the club has and thought if I could be involved from the beginning it would be excellent.”
And she believes this new squad has the talent to rise to the top flight.
“The younger girls here, especially, are absolutely excellent. They’ve not had the experience of playing at ladies level yet and I think this will be a good stepping stone for them, not just in terms of the club progressing, but if they go on and play at a higher level in the future.
“Stepping up to the adult game is a lot tougher, especially in the physical sense, but the girls have the talent.
“They are coming across players who are maybe a couple of stone heavier and a lot more experienced
“The level we’re going into at the Second Division, it will be a very physical league but they definitely have the talent.
“The experienced ones like myself will have a part to play and we’re doing sessions in the gym so the training is not just football, football.
“We’re developing the fitness side and that’s important. It’s a professional set-up. That and the players we have can get us where we want to be.”