YOUNG football ace Carla Gardiner has taken a big step towards emulating England's heroic Lionesses in the recent Women's World Cup.

The Arnside 10-year-old has signed for Championship team Blackburn Rovers' tier 1 under 11 girls' team for the coming season after successfully coming through open and closed trials.

Carla has played for Milnthorpe JFC boys' team for the last three years under coaches Steve Helmsley, Craig Derbyshire and Simon Gray.

A left winger with pace and strength, she started pre-season training this week in readiness for the team's first two warm up games which will be real testers against Liverpool and Manchester Utd.