Bend it like Jane

JANE Ross's football adventure just keeps on getting better and better. Jane is a striker with Paisley Saints GFC and scores goals for fun in the West of Scotland Girls' League.

Jane has recently returned from a successful trip to Ermelo, in Holland, where she starred for Scotland in an international challange match against the Dutch under-15 years side.

Jane won her Scotland cap playing in the match which was the centrepiece of the first ever 'Nationale meisjes en vrouwenvoetbaldag' or National Day of Women's Football.

This was staged in the stadium of DVS 33, Ermelo and the Dutch host, Bert van Lingen, former assistant boss at the Ibrox, broadcast a warm welcome to all the players, parents and supporters who had travelled from Scotland for the occasion.

After the national anthems were played and photographs taken, Jane and her team mates got on with the serious business of testing themselves against some of the most talented girl footballers at this age group in Europe.

Scotland were spot on tactically, anticipating exactly how the dutch would play. Jane and the girls carried their instructions out on to the field of play, and as a striker Jane had to be ever alert to go forward as the opportunity allowed, and be prepared as the first line of defense to track back to help the team keep its shape.

It says much for Jane's level of fitness that she did so constantly, and had strength enough to last out for the whole eighty minutes.

With home advantage and the backing of a large vocal support, the Dutch girls were more comfortable on the ball in the early stages, and deservedly went in front. Jane got forward on a few occasions as the Scots fought back, but they couldn't find a way through the defence.

In the second half the visitors carried the fight once more, but a spectacular rocket shot against the run of play gave Holland their second goal and they held on until the final whistle to win 2-0.

The Tartan Army were as well behaved as ever despite a Scotland defeat. Coaches Nicola Barbour and Shelly Kerr were up beat and praised the team.

"The girls can hold their heads up. They did themselves proud and on another day they might have taken some of these chances. The only real disappointment is that we didn't score," Nicky said.

Clearly for Jane Ross, the whole trip was the experience of a lifetime, and if she keeps up the good work and continues to develop as a player, this great football adventure of hers should last for a long time to come.