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Olympian calls Winnipeg's Northwest 'a good club to come from'

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Desiree Scott, Manitoba's newest Olympic athlete, made a final stop in Winnipeg on Tuesday night to visit her former youth soccer club before she begins her Olympic adventure.

Scott, a striker-turned-midfielder with Canada's national women's soccer team, played a key role for Team Canada at last month's qualification tournament in Vancouver, where the squad qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

She spoke to a gathering of about 300 players, coaches and parents from the FC Northwest Soccer Club, where she played youth soccer.

"I was just like you guys. I started here at Northwest; it's a good club to come from," Scott said. "All the coaches you guys have, they gave me my start to my career. They helped me developmentally, physically, technically just to get started and get recognized. It was a great opportunity for me to come from Northwest."

Scott will leave on Thursday for Cyprus, where she and the Canadians are the two-time defending champions in the prestigious Cyprus Women's Cup international tournament, which will be held Feb. 28 to March 6.

She said Team Canada plans to centralize in Vancouver after the tournament to train full-time leading up to the 2012 Olympics.

"I know we have a lot of work to do before then," Scott said. "I am so fortunate that I get to wear my Canada jersey and say I am so proud to represent Winnipeg, Manitoba and my country on such a huge stage (as the Olympics)."

Scott played five years with the University of Manitoba Bisons women's soccer team and was the Canada West conference rookie of the year and a two-time all-star. A prolific goal-scorer at the university level, she scored 32 goals and 26 assists in 69 games for the U of M.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

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