Suzanne eyes century with Scots Ladies

HIBS LADIES star Suzanne Grant will tonight pass a milestone when she wins her 50th cap as Scotland face Belgium.

But already the 23-year-old has set her sights on emulating Julie Fleeting's record of making more than 100 appearances in a dark blue jersey.

It's a target the clerical assistant admitted she'd never have envisaged as she kicked a ball around the streets of her hometown Grantown-on-Spey as a child.

She said: "My Dad played for the local team and I'd go to watch him and play football myself with the local boys. We didn't have a girls' team at school so I played for the boys' side.

"I was just enjoying it that much and although I took it seriously, I never thought I'd end up playing for my country."

Grant, however was spotted playing in a schools' tournament and by the age of 14 was turning out for Scotland's Under-17 side, going on to win her first cap against Northern Ireland at just 16.

She said: "I was invited down to a training camp at Dumfries thinking it was really just to get to meet and know the girls in the team. So it was a real shock when I was told the next day I was playing. I scored two and since then I've played all over Europe. Women's football is gaining a higher profile all the time and hopefully in ten years' time if I have a girl she'll have the chance to play football full-time or at least semi-professionally." Tonight's match in Tienen is part of the Scots' build-up to three crucial European Championship qualifying games against Denmark, Portugal and Ukraine, fixtures Grant insists are far more important than tonight's personal landmark.

She said: "It will be amazing for me to get my 50th cap as I've only been a Scotland regular for the past five years. But the important thing is we have got ourselves in a good position to qualify for the European Championships and the games coming up are going to be vital to our hopes."

Arsenal's Fleeting is, of course, probably the best-known female football figure in Scotland, but Grant admitted she'd also love to hit the ton in terms of caps.

She said: "I'm not 24 until next week, so as long as I can stay clear of injury and as long as I am still enjoying my football then I'll be aiming to get 100 caps as well."