Scott scores place in Olympic squad

A North East footballer is celebrating after being selected for the first Great Britain women's football squad in Olympic history.

Gateshead College football coach and former student Jill Scott will be one of 18 members making up the Team GB squad at London 2012 and is delighted to have been chosen.

The Sunderland-born player said: "I was ecstatic when I took the call to say I'd made it into the Olympic squad and I can't wait to play in front of the huge home crowds in London.

"With the Olympics being in England it's a massive opportunity for women's football to get the publicity it deserves and needs, but we all realise that comes from good performances so it will be one of our main aims." 

Jill will be cheered on by her students at Gateshead College - she returned to her former place of study in 2008 and now inspires other talented young players through her role as women's football coach at the college's Academy for Sport.

The 25-year-old from Fulwell, Sunderland plays semi-professionally for Everton Ladies FC. She is a regular England international and has played in European championships and the World Cup. The centre midfielder is a key member of the England squad looking to qualify for Euro 2013.

The Team GB squad's first game of the tournament will be against New Zealand and is also the first event of the whole Olympics on July 25 at the Millennium Stadium. Jill helped England win 2 - 1 against them in last year's World Cup. 

Melanie Reay, head coach at Gateshead College's Women's Football Academy said: "We're all really excited for Jill and extremely proud.

"She is a fantastic role model for the students here at the college and we all wish her every success as part of the first ever team to represent GB women's football at the Olympics."

In her role as football coach Jill has helped Gateshead College's Women's Football Academy to win eight trophies in the past four years. The academy has more than 40 players and is the only women's academy in the North to be endorsed by the FA.

Any young players looking to follow in Jill's footsteps and become a member of Gateshead College's Women's Football Academy should contact Melanie Reay on melanie.reay@gateshead.ac.uk.