Goalkeeper Lee Alexander has hailed Glasgow City’s 10th qualification in a row for the last 32 of the Champions League as a “massive achievement.”
The Scotland No.1 helped her side reach the promised land after a second round preliminary win away to Icelandic champions Valur on penalties last week and now face Sparta Prague next month for a place in the last 16.
And Alexander, who was the hero in the previous round after saving twice in a shootout win over Peamount United at the start of the month, said: “I think it’s a massive achievement, particularly this year with the format changing. We have come up against two decent sides.
“We pride ourselves on our European run every year and to have done it 10 years in a row with the investment that has gone into women’s football across Europe is amazing.
“The amount of hard work that goes on behind the scenes at City is probably never really credited but our amazing staff and owners have played a major part in keeping this team together and continuing to be successful.
“Penalties can be such a lottery but for myself I feel confident and hope that I can help give the girls an advantage.
“The Champions League has been very different this year within the current climate and ever more challenging.
“But I’m delighted that we have progressed through to the last 32 knockout rounds again and look forward to the two legged ties in a few weeks.”
It’s been a great few weeks for the former Calderglen High School pupil, having signed a new three-year contract with the Scottish champions at the start of the month.
And she added: “It’s been great, I’m really happy to extend my stay at the club and look forward to hopefully another three successful years.
“We have made a good start to the domestic league and are hoping to continue to improve on our performances in Scotland.”
Over the next week Alexander’s focus will be on international duty.
Scotland’s Women face a crucial double header in their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2022, travelling to Portugal on Friday and then hosting Finland on Tuesday, looking to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat to the Finns in Helsinki last month.
Scotland trail Finland by four points at the top of their qualifying group, with a game in hand, but know they can’t afford any slip ups to keep their dreams alive.
Having just watched the men’s team reach their first Euros since 1996, Alexander would love to make it double delight for the nation.
The 29-year-old said: “It would be brilliant to have two senior teams at major championships.
“To see how it lifted us all as a nation watching the guys qualify was incredible and we are hoping that we can continue our successful qualification campaigns to qualify for Euro 2022.
“These are big games for us against good opposition so we will need to be at our best.
“We know that it is in our own hands and we will be aiming for maximum points.”
Scotland will have to do so without boss Shelley Kerr, after she was forced to self-isolate for 14 days after coming into contact with members of the Scotland under-21 squad, who had three players test positive last week.