BARRY footballer Sophie Ingle is celebrating, after being selected for the preliminary squad for the Great Britain women’s football team in the London 2012 Olympics.

Sophie, of Brook Street, is also set to sign for Chelsea Ladies FC in the Super League of women's football.

Former Holton Primary School pupil Sophie, who has 19 caps for Wales so far, will join the English team after spending the last three years with Cardiff City Ladies FC.

And she recently received an email saying that she had been chosen in the preliminary squad for the Oympics, with the team set to be cut down to 20 in July.

"I was taken aback when I found out I could be representing Great Britain," she said.

"It would fulfill one of my ambitions."

Six of the games will be played in the Millennium Stadium, and appearing there wouldn't be too daunting for Sophie as she has already played at the venue.

"When I was about ten I played in a seven-a-side competition, and I was one of the first girls to ever play there," she said.

Sophie, 20, has previously featured in the Barry & District News after her family fought for her to play in the Vale Wanderers boys football team.

"When you are 12 you have to stop playing for the boys team," she said.

"There weren’t any girls teams of a good standard then, so I wanted to carry on playing for the boys team."

Mum Catherine added: "We wrote 20 letters to the FAW board asking if she could train and play with the boys team."

It wasn’t until Sophie was 14, after she took a year out from football and then had a short spell with Vale Wanderers Girls, that she joined her first women’s football team, Dinas Powys Ladies FC.

"I played for them for about a year until one of the girls told me about Cardiff City Ladies FC," said Sophie.

"After I joined Cardiff I was in the reserves for just over a season and was getting frustrated as I wasn’t getting games.

"But soon the manager started to notice me and I was given the chance to play."

Sophie, 20, has been with Cardiff City Ladies Football Club for three years now, with the club recently being promoted to the FA Women’s Premier League.

Chelsea play in the newly formed Women’s Super League, which Sophie will be joining in March for pre-season.

"I’m excited but also a bit nervous as the standard will be higher than I’m used to," she said.

"It will help that I’ve played with Wales though, as that is a high standard too.

"Training will also be a higher intensity, playing with better players.

"Overall it will be better for me, so I can improve as a player."

Sophie, who is studying Sport Development at UWIC, has already travelled to Azerbaijan, Israel, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Denmark whilst representing Wales.

"I have been playing for Wales since I was 16, but the proudest moment was when I was captain of the U19s in my last season," she said.

"I then got promoted to the senior team and was given the chance to play a few games, which doesn’t happen to a lot of people as it’s quite hard to get into the team."

Sophie, a central midfielder, has been playing left back for Wales and has high ambitions for the future.

"I want to stay in the team and help them qualify for the World Cup and European Championships," she said.

"I think we have a good enough team and set-up with the manager."

Her next challenge though is joining Chelsea.

"I don’t expect to play at the start, but if I can do enough in front of the manager, and because I can play a few different positions, hopefully I’ll be given a chance," she said.

"I was shocked when the Chelsea captain, who plays for Wales, asked me if I wanted to join as I had never really thought about it before.

"I then had a phone call from the manager and he was keen to get me on board, so I decided to sign for them."

Mum Catherine said: "I’m very proud of her and knew she could achieve it.

"She’s had to give up a lot because of her commitment to football, but now the years of struggle to get to this point have been worth it.

"I hope it encourages other young girls in Barry who are playing football at the moment, that they can go as far as Sophie."