Mercer: I can't wait for World Championships
Charyle Mercer toasted her selection to represent Great Britain in the World Championships and revealed: It is a dream come true.
The 28-year-old has only been playing the sport for three years but has made a great strides up the ranks.
Mercer made her debut for Team GB against Spain last September and impressed selectors.
She now crosses the Atlantic to Langley, in Canada, to compete against the best women in the world.
It is the first time Team GB will compete in the tournament.
The squad have been fine-tuning their skills ready for their assault on the World Championships, which starts on June 24.
And the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts ace, who is the only player from the south coast to be picked for the British side, cannot wait to get on the plane and compete in Canada.
Mercer said: ‘I was over the moon when I found out I was going.
‘It was really overwhelming and I was speechless.
‘Beforehand, I was on the practice squad but didn’t know if I would be picked.
‘It is a dream come true and it’s nice to be making history.
‘Three years ago I never thought I would be representing my country but I have worked really hard.
‘Everyone has been training hard in camps, which have been happening each weekend for the past few weeks.
‘We know each others’ games fairly well to be competitive and have been well drilled.
‘American football grew by 80 per cent last year and, hopefully, we can help inspire other girls.
‘Hopefully they will look at us and say “we could be playing for GB in a few years’ time”.
‘We have been given fantastic facilities for our camps by the British Association of American Football and wouldn’t be where we are without their support.’
The USA set the bar going into the tournament.
They have won the past two competitions and are well ahead of the other nations – given how big the sport is Stateside.
Southsea’s Mercer knows beating America is virtually out of the question.
But Team GB have set their sights on knocking Finald – Europe’s best team – off their perch.
‘It’s going to be tough and really competitive,’ Mercer added.
‘Because it is an American sport, they are another level over there.
‘From a learning point of view, it is going to be brilliant and will be amazing to see how the Americans do things and train.
‘Hopefully, we can give them a good battle.
‘You only learn by playing against the best.
‘America are ranked best in the world and we are ranked second in Europe behind Finland.
‘Our first game is against them, so everyone is really focused on the Finland game and becoming the best in Europe.
‘I’m up for the challenge and really looking forward to it.’