Accrington Stanley's goalkeeper has been praised for her heroics during a tour of America.

Millie Topping is balancing her burgeoning football career with her studies at Nelson and Colne College.

The shot-stopper is studying A Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Biology in the hope of a career in either medicine or banking.

She has recently returned from a trip to Dallas with the Reds, where she was mobbed by autograph hunters.

Millie’s performances also attracted the attention of dozens of US colleges, meaning she may consider a move Stateside and an option to gain a sports scholarship. 

The 17-year-old stayed with a Texan family whilst competing in a tournament against elite teams from academies such as Florida. 

She also had her first experience of football American style against the family’s sons, reminding Millie of her start in football, where she joined in boy’s matches on the schoolyard.

Millie admitted she cried when she was first put in goal. “I was wearing trainers, not boots and I didn’t want to go in the net.

“But I found I was quite good at it, and we won, 2-0!”

Unable to find a junior girls’ team anywhere in the region, Millie starred in a trial against Everton Under 21 Ladies at the Barnfield Training Centre and was taken on by her beloved Burnley

Still a season-ticket holder at Turf Moor, fate dealt another blow when a new manager arrived and disbanded the club’s under-16s team. Millie was taken on by Accrington, where she was one of two goalies travelling to America.

“People couldn’t wait to see a football team from England and were even asking for photos and an autograph.

"The game there was very quick and technical. It was a great experience.”

Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group, Lisa O’Loughlin said: “Millie is proof that the right attitude can take you a long way in education, life, and of course, sport.” 

“I thank our staff for supporting her through her transition to college, enabling her to feel comfortable straight away and start to really shine in her studies as well as her sport. 

"But more than that, I am glad they nurtured that spirit of determination that kept her being a wonder for Lancashire between the sticks.”

Whilst England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley stands at 5ft 11 inches, Millie is just five foot-three. 

Millie added: “I have heard opposition teams saying, 'chip it over her, she’s small' but they have never managed it. Football has taught me many skills such as communication, but its biggest lesson is: It’s all about where you are!”