BEHIND the scenes photographs reveal how Scotland women’s national football team is preparing for their historic World Cup journey.

The state-of-the-art climate chamber mimics conditions the squad will face in Nice, France, this weekend. At 35C and 60% humidity, it’s a far throw from Scotland’s dreich weather.

Aiming to acclimatise the team before their match against England this Sunday, the chamber replicates environmental extremes like standing on top of the highest mountain, to walking through the desert. Athletes use the equipment to improve physical performance.

Head coach Shelley Kerr said: “I think the facility at University of the West of Scotland is fantastic. It’s going to give the players exposure to the heat and humidity that they won’t experience here in Scotland and has been a huge part of the preparations.”

She added: “The small marginal gains at the highest level of football can make a massive difference.”

It is the first time the Scotland team have qualified for the Women’s World Cup, as the squad achieved seven out of eight wins of their qualifier matches.

Women’s football historically struggled to gain recognition as in 1921 they were banned by football authorities. The ban was lifted in 1971 as the Scottish Women’s Football Association was founded. It’s been a long road to give Scottish women footballers their due, marking this weekend a moment of history.

Professor Vish Unnithan, who led the sessions, said: “It has been an extremely full-on, but exciting few days as the players put together the final preparations before flying to France – we were honoured to have had the opportunity to work with them.

“The team will gain benefits from using the environmental chamber when they take to the pitch.”

The team will face England, ranked 17 places above Scotland, on Sunday in Nice at 5pm.

Scotland women’s final friendly match against Jamaica attracted a staggering 18,555 people at Hampden, highlighting the growth and support women’s football has seen in recent years.

A study recently revealed women and girls football figures have doubled in the past five years. Midfielder Erin Cuthbert is proud to inspire Scotland’s next generation of football talent. She said: “I get little messages on Instagram and I get people asking me to visit their training. It’s really special to know you have that impact.”

On Sunday the team will take to the world stage in their first ever World Cup match, with a predicted one billion worldwide to be watching the tournament.