Published: 00:00, 12 July 2016
| Updated: 13:59, 12 July 2016
Alessia Russo hopes to have a World Cup to look forward to after making her Chelsea debut.
It’s turning out to be quite a year for the Maidstone sixth-former who, in May, shared the golden boot as England finished third at the under-17 European Championships in Belarus.
After losing 4-3 to Germany in the semi-finals, their 2-1 success against Norway in the third/fourth play-off secured a place at the World Cup in Jordan in September.
Russo scored five goals at the Euros, finishing joint top scorer with a Spanish girl.
She said: “We did so well as a team. It’s a massive achievement to finish third at the Euros and qualify for the World Cup.
“There was so much riding on that play-off.
“I now need to continue to work hard and to prove my form to the manager to get into his World Cup squad.
“We’ve been drawn in a tough group, with Nigeria, Brazil and North Korea.
“We don’t fear anyone but, whatever happens, it will be a fantastic experience.”
Last weekend, Russo, 17, made her debut up front for Chelsea ladies in a Continental Cup tie against London Bees.
She played almost an hour before being substituted, with the Blues losing 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
Russo, who goes to St Simon Stock School in Maidstone, said: “I’d been there or thereabouts, making the bench a couple of times.
“I’m still at school, where the rest of the team are full-time professionals.
“To anyone who follows the Women’s Super League, the players are all household names.
“I have another year in the sixth form but eventually I’d like to turn pro.
“I also want to go to university, which clubs allow you to do.”