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The thrilling climax to the 2005-06 season brought about a week to remember for Blackburn Rovers midfielder Lynda Shepherd, a real unsung hero amongst the National Division newcomers' ranks.
After clinching the Northern Division title and automatic promotion to the top flight, Lynda celebrated her 21st birthday with international team mates over in Sweden on the Friday, before playing the full 90 minutes for England's Under-21s against their Scandinavian counterparts the following day.
Brent Hills' young side recorded a creditable 0-0 draw against a physically imposing Swedish team and speaking on her return to Blackburn, Lynda was happy with her performance.
"I had a steady game, nothing extravagant," she said. "They're a good side and it was a good game for the spectators - end-to-end stuff!
"I am now hoping to be involved with the same squad for the Nordic Cup games against Sweden, Finland and Germany in the summer."
Lynda was called up to Hope Powell's senior squad for a winter training camp in La Manga back in January and the tenacious 21-year-old hopes that it won't be too long before she makes her full international bow.
"Hopefully I'll be involved with the national set-up again sometime in the near future. I just need to keep working hard and our promotion to the Premier League will certainly help my cause," added Lynda.
"Ever since I was a kid, even before I started playing for a team, it was always a dream of mine to represent my country."
The former Stockport County and Manchester United midfielder joined Rovers just 12 months ago and is delighted with how her first year with the club has gone.
"I have never won a league before, so it is a great achievement for me personally and for the team as a whole," she admits.
"We all worked extremely hard all the way through the season and achieved our main objective, of promotion, as a result. Coming back from 2-0 down to win the Lancashire Cup was a real highlight for me as well.
"When I was 18, I said that I wanted to be playing in the Premier League by the time I was 21 and I've achieved that goal. I'm now looking forward to the massive challenge that lies ahead."
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