Ralston footballer Carly Girasoli believes the UEFA Women’s U19 Championship will provide the perfect opportunity to build on an inspirational summer for the sport.

With Shelley Kerr’s senior side making it to the World Cup finals in France last month, it’s now the turn of the Scotland U19 girls to play in a major tournament themselves with the competition kicking off earlier this week at the Simple Digital Arena.

The Scottish girls took on France in their opening Group A match on Tuesday, narrowly losing 2-1 after conceding a last minute goal.

And with their third game against the Netherlands set to take place right on Girasoli’s doorstep tomorrow night, the young Glasgow City defender says she is relishing the challenge ahead.

“It’s so special to be representing Scotland in a major tournament so close to home,” she told Gazette Sport. “The stadium is just around the corner from my house so I’ll have lots of friends and family there to cheer the team on.

“The senior girls were inspiration so I’m hoping we can carry that on. It being in Scotland is a good chance to keep the excitement up.”

The Gazette: The Ralston youngster will be in the squad for tomorrow's match with the Netherlands The Ralston youngster will be in the squad for tomorrow's match with the Netherlands

No stranger to major tournaments, the 17-year-old played her part in Glasgow City's run to the last 16 of the UEFA Women's Champions League last summer.

And the youngster is hoping that experience will stand her in good stead against some of Europe's top players this week.

She said: "I've played in big Champions League matches for Glasgow City in the last 32 and the last 16 so I know what it's like to play against some of the best players in the world. This tournament will be the same with some top, top players so it will be a good challenge.

"I think my main aim is to perform well over the three games, learn as much as possible from some good teams and test myself against the best Europe has to offer."

Unsurprisingly inspired by the senior side's exploits in France earlier this summer, Girasoli, who travelled to Nice to support Kerr's women in their opening match, insists she will be giving it her all to be part of the senior set up when the next World Cup rolls around in four years time, adding: "I was in Nice for Scotland's opening match in June which was an amazing experience - being there and taking all that in has only made me want to push harder for it and make it to the very top. Playing in a World Cup for Scotland is what I want to do so it was great to be there.

"I would absolutely love to be part of the senior team in four years time. I'm still really young but I just need to keep working hard and hopefully get that opportunity when the time comes."

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