Birmingham City's Karen Carney excited by Champions League

Karen Carney
Karen Carney

England winger Karen Carney cannot wait for Birmingham City's Champions League debut after her side were drawn against Italy's Bardolino Verona on Thursday.

Blues, runners-up to Arsenal in last season's Women's Super League, are one of three UK clubs in the Round of 32.

Arsenal face Barcelona, who are also making their debut, while Glasgow City will meet Denmark's Fortuna Hjorring.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for Birmingham and we're aiming to put the club on the European map," said Carney.

Carney won the competition in 2007 during her time with Arsenal before moving to Chicago Red Stars in 2009 and then on to Birmingham last year.

The 25-year-old midfielder added: "Winning the competition with Arsenal was one of the biggest achievements of my career, and now it's a real thrill to be playing in Europe for my home town team.

"We'll probably be underdogs whoever we come up against, but the teams we face won't know much about us so there will be no great pressure on us.

"We've got two or three players besides myself who have played in the Champions League, so we do have some experience of it and we'll be ready for Verona."

The Italian side, four times winners of the women's Serie A, visit Birmingham for the first leg while Glasgow City will also begin at home.

Arsenal, who are set for their 12th European campaign and are one of the top seeds, will begin their campaign away from home.

Defending champions Lyon start their bid to win the competition for a third successive season against Vantaa of Finland.

The first legs are scheduled to be played on either 26 or 27 September and the reverse fixtures on either 3 or 4 October.

A massive incentive for Birmingham and Arsenal is that the final will be played in London on 23 May.

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