Crawley Wasps’ Under-16s captain Chanelle Gainsford is on a mission – to play for England.
The 14-year-old’s dream could be realised this season.
On Sunday, she plays for the South East against the South West in a trial match, on the road towards possible selection for England Schools.
The successful 16 from that game will play again for the South against the North – and only the best 16 again will form the final national squad.
“I’m just glad I got through to that bit because it shows I’ve got something,” the Thomas Bennett pupil said.
“I’m working on my fitness because some of the girls I was trialling with played for clubs like Millwall and I’m determined to get ahead of them.
“You can do anything you want to if you believe and push yourself.”
Nellie has been part of a Wasps team so dominant they played in a boys’ league last season to give themselves a challenge.
The difference in physique led to heavy defeats, although Nellie did score in a 1-1 draw against Lindfield and enjoyed the experience.
Current under-16s boss Mark Graves called Nellie a “gifted footballer and great leader. She is a total role model for the club on and off the pitch.”
Wasps chairman Paul Walker said Nellie’s progress was a credit to the club’s youth system.
He said: “We’ve got a very progressive youth policy, which like the whole club is going from strength to strength,”