The dream of all young footballers is to one day represent their country on the world stage. It is a dream that Sophie Harris, a product of the Lincoln City F.C Centre of Excellence, is one step closer towards achieving.

During her training at the Centre of Excellence, top England scouts recognised the goalkeeper’s ability and offered her a chance to train with the U17s England ladies team, which will take place at Warwick University next week.

The 15 year old from North Hykeham will have the chance to impress coaches at the training camp and is hoping that this is just one step in the right direction to realising her ultimate goal.

“It is exciting times and I hope to be one of two keepers that get selected for the 2010 Under 17s European Championships.

“My aim is to wear the number one jersey in the Championships, so being selected for the training camp is very good for me,” said Harris.

Life is only getting sweeter for the young shot-stopper as she was recently selected to train with Arsenal Ladies F.C, a team reknowned for being the most successful womens team in the country, winning a total of 33 major trophies.

Harris said, “I am pleased and honoured to be selected but [it is] a big decision for me to leave home when I will be 16 years old.

“However there are a lot of girls in the England squad already who play for Arsenal, which will make the move a lot easier.”

At the root of the success is Lincolnshire Sports Partnership who give Harris its full backing. The 15 year old is a member of the Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme (LEAP), that supports local and talented athletes in the county and is also run by the Sports Partnership.

Rachel Belcher, LEAP project officer at Lincolnshire Sports Partnership, felt that even though Harris will have to leave the county to progress, there is still a great feeling of delight.

Belcher said, “The news that Sophie has been selected for the U17s England training camp with the potential to represent our country at the European Championships is fantastic.

“Whilst it will be a shame for Sophie to leave Lincolnshire, moving to London will develop and further her career in football. Everyone at Lincolnshire Sports Partnership wishes her the best of luck and hope to see her wearing the number one jersey in October.”

To follow Harris’ progress and to take a look at her athlete profile click here.