Redding footballer Leah Eddie might have endured a torrid end to last season, but the Central Girls Football Academy player says she cannot wait to get back in the fold and help her club reach new heights. 

The 16-year-old promising young star suffered an ACL injury earlier this year while playing in a game but, having come through surgery, she is fully focused on getting back on the pitch.  

Having spent a season playing for Celtic’s under-17 team two seasons ago, before moving to local club Central Girls, Eddie is optimistic she can return next season to help spearhead a promotion challenge.

“Central Girls play two tiers below Celtic, but we’re looking to climb up the leagues and play top-flight football,” said Eddie, who has recently come back from Florida where her team triumphed at a pre-season tournament.

“I went to Florida just to support the team – I still want to be in the mix as much as possible and try and stay motivated.

“I’m in the middle of rehab now – my physio and I go the gym every week and it’s going well. I’m hoping to be back for October, although I’m not sure if I’ll be back by then.”

And when she is back on the pitch, Eddie says she will be ready to pick up where she left off and continue to pursue her career ambitions.

“I want to represent Scotland at A level – and then the senior team – and my ultimate goal is to become a professional women’s footballer,” said Eddie, who reveals Scotland full-back Jennifer Beattie is her role model.

“But I’m hoping the sport will grow a bit in Scotland and get bigger and it all works out for me.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of women’s football. I don’t think it’s going to fall back, the game will just keep growing.

“Hopefully by the time me and my teammates want to turn full-time, the game will be in an even better place than it is now.”

In her quest to one day represent her country, Eddie will be aided by being part of the SSE Next Generation programme for a second year running, as one of 50 athletes given financial support and recognition, with world and Olympic champion Katie Archibald just one of the alumni.

The footballer will be supported in everything from travel costs to lifestyle management through different workshops run throughout the year.

And Eddie couldn’t hide her delight at getting a place on the programme with SSE, who this year are working across 24 different sports.

“The SSE Next Generation programme has been really beneficial with all the media training I’ve received at the workshops – so whenever I’m getting interviewed I know how to approach the camera,” she concluded.

“I’ve learnt lots of new things about the nutrition I should be taking on board before, during and after a game.

“The money has really helped me out – with it I’ve been able to buy more equipment for training and game days.”

Since 2013, SSE is proud to make a difference to young people, their families and their communities, by investing in the future of sporting talent through the SSE Next Generation scheme. Keep up to date @YourSSE