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Lizzie ready for World Cup step up
 Women's Football News 24 Oct 2014
Lizzie Arnot played in a major tournament with the Scotland Under-19s this summer, an experience she is hoping will be invaluable should she feature against Holland on Saturday. 
Arnot was an integral member of Gareth Evans' side who reached the group stages of the European Championships in Norway in July, and it was a tournament that the 18-year old took plenty of positives from.
"This summer was a brilliant experience for all of us. We had three really tough matches against Belgium, Norway and Netherlands, but we held our own" she told the Scottish FA website.
"International football is always competitive, but playing at a finals brought with it a different sort of intensity. "Playing against top quality teams, including the host nation, put pressure on us, but it is the sort of pressure that you learn to cope with. It showed us what is expected if we want to develop as players."
The Hibernian winger played alongside Caroline Weir in that tournament, and the Arsenal striker has since gone on to establish a place in the A-squad, scoring her first goal in the 9-0 rout of the Faroe Islands last month. Arnot believes that the progress made by Weir is an example to her and other young players.
She said: "Having someone like Caroline in the squad can only be a good thing for me. I know her really well having played throughout the different age groups with Scotland with her.
"She has set an example for younger players like myself, and has shown what can be achieved with hard work and the right attitude. That Anna Signeul likes to gradually take younger players into the squad is also really encouraging, too.
"It is good to know that if I keep working hard, I can hopefully get more call-ups in the future."
Leading the line for the Dutch on Saturday will be Vivianne Miedema, who won the Golden Boot at the UEFA Under-19 Championships in the summer. Two of those goals came against Scotland in a 3-2 victory for the Dutch in Jessheim, in a match in which both Arnot and Weir featured. Despite the qualities of the striker, Arnot has faith in the Scotland defence to cope with the danger.
"We faced Miedema during the summer, and she was pretty impressive. She is a composed footballer, and her experience at international level means that she does not get fazed by the big matches.
"She's a clinical goalscorer, and certainly one to look out for, but we have a strong defence who I'm sure will have enough experience to be able to cope with the threat she brings."
Arnot is the latest player to come through the National Performance Centre for Women's Football at Heriot-Watt University under the watchful eye of Willie Kirk. It's a campus-like centre that combines Arnot's elite-player training and her studies at Telford College, and it is proving to be a perfect environment.
She said: "The training we have at Heriot-Watt is really good. We train a lot, but it is high quality sessions and the standard of players involved means that we all benefit from playing football with each other. "It is hard work, but it is also really good fun. We're naturally competitive, but we're all friends on and off the pitch, which is really beneficial to our development as players."
The Hibernian winger has been called up to the A-squad following strong performances for both club and country, and she sees potential for the Leith club to improve further next season. "It was an interesting season for us at Hibernian" she said. "We achieved some good results, and we're assembling a squad for next season that can push on from the progress we've made."
With the capital derby not until Sunday, Arnot is hoping that the football fans of Edinburgh will come out in force for Scotland's crucial FIFA Women's World Cup play-off.
"Hopefully the fans who follow us throughout the season will make the journey to Tynecastle on Saturday. A big crowd will generate a great atmosphere, and they can be the 12th player to help us reach the play-off final." 
Scotland's World Cup play-off first leg against Holland kicks off at 5.30pm on Saturday at Tynecastle Stadium. Tickets are available on the gate, priced £5 adults and £2 concessions. A Youth Group Offer, available in advance, covers 5 adults and 20 kids tickets for £30.

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