McGovern aiming to be on target in under-19s Euros this month


McGovern aiming to be on target in under-19s Euros this month

Striker Kathleen McGovern is relishing the opportunity to raise her game again as she steps up to Scotland under-19s for this month’s European Championships, and is hoping it will also give her an extra boost as Celtic prepare to return to league action in August.

McGovern, who has seven first team goals for Celtic this season, also said Scotland are capitalising on interest in the women’s game generated from Scotland’s World Cup adventures this summer, admitting she is expecting good turnouts at Scotland’s games at St Mirren Park and Firhill Stadium.

The striker has been involved with both Scotland under-17s and under-19s setups this year, notably in the 17s European Elite Rounds, but the step up to the 19s is a vastly welcomed one for the 17-year-old, who is ready to test herself even further.

“I’m buzzing just to know I’ve been picked at 19s having just moved up from the 17s and because it’s such a big tournament, so I’m really excited.

“It’s much more difficult than 17s. Mostly everyone at 19s is playing first team football so we’re all in the same boat, I’m finding it really challenging, but it’s good that I’m pushing myself.

“It means I’m not dropping in level, I need to up my game at 19s from the 17s anyway,” she explained.

While McGovern’s first team teammates have only enjoyed friendly action since 19 May, she herself hasn’t experienced that same break. As part of the club’s under-19s squad who travelled to France for the Scania Cup, she scored in the side’s 1-0 win over Turbine Potsdam, and she believes it was great preparation for the Euros, and that those in turn will be great heading back into league duty.

“Especially with it being a season break it was great to get to France.

“That tournament was really difficult and it was like playing international football to be fair, so that’s really prepared me. Especially coming back from injury and get my fitness back up, I feel like I’ve done that very well coming back into club football.

“I don’t think I’ve had a break! I feel like I’ve never been away from Lennoxtown between rehab and everything. I’ve been working away behind the scenes on fitness and trying to get myself back up so when I come in, I’m pushing myself at club and Scotland.

“Going back into the season with Celtic I feel more prepared,” she said.

And she also shared her optimism that they can attract crowds to their games off the back of Scotland’s World Cup inclusion.

“You can see it in the media just and it’s all over Twitter and Facebook about the 19s, so we’re hoping for a really big crowd, and I know I’ve got a really big crowd coming.

“I know a lot of the girls are coming along on Tuesday, so I’m expecting quite a lot of people there,” she added.

UEFA Women’s Under-19s European Championship

Tuesday 16 July

Scotland v France, St Mirren Park, 7:30pm kick-off

Friday 19 July

Scotland v Norway, Firhill Stadium, 6:15pm kick-off

Monday 22 July

Netherlands v Scotland, St Mirren Park, 6:15pm kick-off

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