Euro delight for Vaila

Norfolk's own Vaila Barsley has been called up to represent Scotland at the UEFA Women's European Championships in the Netherlands next month.

Barsley, a former Flegg High School student currently plays professionally in Sweden for Eskilstuna United who ply their trade in the Damallsvenskan; the top tier of Women's Football in Sweden.

The 29 year old grew up in Hemsby, playing football in her youth for Stalham and Lowestoft whilst progressing through the age groups within the Norwich City Girls' Centre of Excellence. She also represented Norfolk at U14 and U16 before making numerous appearances for her county at senior level.

She played for Arsenal Academy U19's before moving to New York City on a scholarship to play for St. John's University where she graduated with a degree in accountancy and gained a top job at Ernst & Young. Eskilstuna offered Barsley a professional contract in 2013 and her debut season saw promotion to the Premier Division. The following season saw the defender named captain and in 2015 the side achieved runners up spot in the league and qualification for the UEFA Women's Champions League for the first time.

Despite being born in England and making an appearance for England U15's, Barsley qualifies to play for Scotland through her mother Rosemary who is from Shetland. She won her first cap for the National side back in April against Belgium and has been part of Anna Signeul's thoughts ever since, featuring against Romania and Sweden in the last two weeks.

After notable performances on the national stage, Vaila is now part of the 23-woman squad who will take on the Republic of Ireland next week in a final friendly before travelling to the Netherlands to take part in the Euro 2017 tournament. Scotland's opening group fixture of the competition will see them take on England at Utrecht on the 19 July followed by games against Portugal and Spain.

We caught up with Vaila and she spoke of her delight at being selected for such an occasion:

"I am incredibly honoured to be selected for Scotland and to be in the squad for the Euro's; to represent your country at a major tournament is what every football player dreams of.

"I cannot wait to meet up with the squad and finalise our preparation. It's going to be an exciting tournament and a fantastic experience."

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