Football: after Olympics, Jane aims for Champions’ League glory

Jane Ross, seen in action against Hibernian, returned from the Olympics this week and will line up for Glasgow City at the start of their Champions' League qualifying campaign on Saturday.
Jane Ross, seen in action against Hibernian, returned from the Olympics this week and will line up for Glasgow City at the start of their Champions' League qualifying campaign on Saturday.

A HECTIC summer for Bute Olympian Jane Ross continues apace this weekend when her Glasgow City team-mates kick off their UEFA Women’s Champions’ League campaign in Finland.

Jane, one of four stand-by players for the Team GB women’s football squad at London 2012, barely had time to draw breath after Great Britain’s elimination in the quarter-finals before beginning her preparations for Glasgow City’s European campaign.

Jane, a former pupil at Rothesay Academy who honed her talents under the wing of long-serving Bute youth coach Jim Ross, tweeted: “Can I just stay and be an Olympic athlete forever please? What an experience the past 4wks have been! Loved every minute of it!”

After returning home for the briefest of breaks, Jane joined up with her Glasgow City team-mates for the flight to Helsinki on Thursday afternoon.

City, Scotland’s representatives in Europe’s top club competition for the last five years, made their biggest mark on the Champions’ League in 2011 when they reached the last 16 before being knocked out by German giants Turbine Potsdam.

This year they have been placed in what has been widely recognised as the hardest qualification group in the opening round, which takes place in Helsinki over the next few days.

Jane and her team-mates begin their Group 8 campaign against Croatian champions WFC Osijek on Saturday and face Moldovan champions FC Noroc Nimoreni on Monday before a showdown against the host nation’s champions, PK-35 Vantaa, on Thursday, August 16.

Only the group winners are guaranteed to progress to the knockout stages, and though City are number one seeds in their group, with both Osijek and Vantaa having qualified for the knockout stages last year City’s head coach Eddie Wolecki Black is in no doubt about the challenge which lies ahead.

“The draw for the Champions league could not have been any tougher,” he said.

“Having three teams in the same group that qualified last year means we face a very difficult task to emulate last season’s exploits.

“There is no doubt our last Champions League run brought great exposure to the club and the girls and we would hope to repeat that success this season.

“Our expectations will be to qualify for the next round and this will only be achieved by taking each game as it comes and giving every team the maximum of respect.

“We have worked hard over the years to gain the tag as number one seeds and I hope we can fulfil that ranking. We all enjoyed the limelight that last season brought us and I know this group of players are determined to make this one just as memorable.”
Glasgow City will provide regular updates via their Twitter @GlasgowCityFC and Facebook @Glasgowcity Fc accounts while they are away, including commentary on all matches.