Kim Little wants Euro 2017 experience with Scotland

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Kim Little
Little is hoping for more big tournament experience as Scotland look to qualify for Euro 2017

Kim Little says her 2012 Olympic experience has given her the taste for major tournaments with Scotland.

The USA-based midfielder, 25, was one of two non-English players in the Great Britain squad knocked out at the quarter-final stage at London 2012.

Scotland's women have been drawn against Iceland, Belarus, Slovenia and Macedonia in Euro 2017 qualifying.

"We are amongst the top 16 in Europe. If we don't get there, it will be a disappointment," she told BBC Sport.

Scotland missed out on reaching this summer's World Cup, losing to Netherlands in a two-legged play-off semi-final.

Team GB could have had a team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year given England's third-place showing at the recent World Cup, but the home nations did not reach agreement over sending a combined team.

Kim Little in action for Team GB during the 2012 Olympic Games
Little played for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics, her only taste of major tournament football

"The London Olympics is one of the best experiences I have had playing football," said the ex-Arsenal player, who is now at Seattle Reign in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).

"I would love there to be a Team GB in Rio, but it has been made clear by the football associations that it is not possible."

Since the World Cup, attendances at Women's Super League (WSL) games in England have risen markedly.

The same is also true in the United States, where the players who won the tournament have been appearing across mainstream media outlets.

"Because they are televised and played over a short period of time, people see the games and the players and take notice of them a lot more," said Little.

"But it is too soon after the World Cup to say it has impacted. After the Olympics in 2012, there wasn't the improvement I think was possible, both in terms of raising attendances and the level of the game in England.

Kim Little facts
Born: 29 June 1990Height: 1.62m (5ft 4in)
Position: Attacking midfielderClub achievements: 2014 National Women's Soccer League's Most Valuable Player and top scorer; 2013 PFA Player of the Year
Current club: Seattle Reign 2014-present (25 apps & 16 goals)International record: Scotland 2007-present (108 apps & 41 goals)

"There were lots of people coming to games in the Olympics, but attendances at WSL games didn't improve that much.

"I hope this World Cup will emphasise the fact more needs to be put into the league in England, to generate more interest, get the media involved and more people going to watch."

Little is part of a Reign squad that sits in second spot in the NWSL after she won the Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player awards in 2014, plus this year's BBC Women's Footballer of the Year prize.

She is in the final season of a two-year contract and said: "I am undecided what I am doing next year. I could go wherever I wanted. I could go back and play in Europe or stay here."