Glasgow City claim Scotland-wide backing in Euro quest

Amy McDonald believes the whole of the Scottish Women's Premier League is backing Glasgow City to reach the last 16 of the Champions League.

No Scots have yet been at that stage.

But City have high hopes as they prepare to face their Icelandic counterparts, Valur Reykjavik, in the first leg at Petershill Park.

"There is a buzz about, an excitement and it is not just for us but other teams have given us support and bought tickets," said defender McDonald.

"That's really important as well as they are always striving for the title and to be part of the Champions League."

City, who again lead their domestic league, are the first Scottish team to have reached the last 32 and managed to avoid any of the tournament favourites in the draw.

But Valur have been as far as the last 16 themselves in recent seasons and, ahead of next Thursday's first leg, McDonald said: "It will allow us to benchmark where we're at and how far we need to go to really compete with clubs are at the highest level.

"It is a fantastic opportunity for the club and all the players.

"It is huge, not just for us but for women's football in general in the country.

"For Glasgow City to have strived to this level and to be able to compete at a level such as the Champions League is obviously a momentous occasion for us.

"Obviously we want to stay grounded, but we are hoping to reach the last 16."

The Scotland defender recognises that the latter stages will be dominated by clubs that have full-time squads.

"However, it is toe-to-toe, it is 11 versus 11 on the pitch - and, if we play as we can, we can do very well," said McDonald.

City, who prepare for the game with a Scottish Cup tie against Forfar Farmington this weekend, are hoping to persuade new fans to give women's football a chance at the home of junior outfit Peterhead.

"I think it is the highest it's ever been," McDonald said of the standard of Scottish women's football.

"I have been playing football for 13/14 years and the commitment from players, managers and coaches has driven it to a completely different level and it's not reached its peak yet.

"I think the opportunities for young girls to be involved in football can be from three-year-old all the way up and the opportunity to be involved at all levels with one club is also there.

"I had to play with a boys club, but it is not the same any more."