SHE has made her WSL debut, represented England at a World Cup, and now stands on the brink of winning her fourth league title. It’s safe to say it’s been a good year for 19-year-old Beth Mead.

The Sunderland striker, who hails from Whitby, announced her presence on the international stage with one of the goals of the tournament at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada this summer.

Mo Marley’s team failed to get past the group stages in North America, but Mead lit up their 1-1 draw with Mexico when she put the ball through the legs of Karla Nieto before unleashing an unstoppable, curling 30-yard drive into the far corner.

It wasn’t the first time Mead has impressed for England having represented her country at U-15, 17, 19 and 20 level, and now all that is left for the striker to do is play in the top flight and earn a senior call-up to Mark Sampson’s squad.

A win against Doncaster Belles at the Hetton Centre this evening (7:30pm) would fulfil one of those ambitions and see Sunderland promoted to WSL 1 as champions, and take the 19-year-old one step closer to her senior international dream.

The experience in Canada certainly whetted Mead’s appetite to play at the very top and with a record of 66 goals is 68 appearances in two-and-a-half seasons for the Lady Black Cats, including 13 in 17 in this season, she’s certainly on course.

“It’s been a very good season for me,” Mead said. “I wanted to be picked for the World Cup, but I never thought in a million years I would be at the same time. It has been a dream come true.

“It was a massive experience at the World Cup. I’d already been to a few European Championships before, but the difference from that to the World Cup is unbelievable.

“The media attention, it’s a totally different world. We had chartered planes for us. It really was a bit mental. It was like being in a bubble for three weeks, but playing against that standard we did will help me develop as a player.

“There’s a lot of people that watch the WSL 1 and I think people really expect when you get to that level.

“We’re going to really have to step up our game as soon as we get there. It would be great to be part of. There’s a lot more attention with televised games and radio, it will be completely different.

“We are within touching distance now. Everyone is really excited. I think we all just want to play the game now and try to get the win and win the league.”

Having won their previous two league titles away from home, Claire Robinson’s side have the opportunity to do so in front of their loyal supporters tonight, but nearest rivals Doncaster Belles stand in their way.

The Lady Black Cats are also keen to retain their unbeaten record this season and Mead believes the spirit within the squad should get them through.

She said: “The last few times we’ve won the league we’ve been away. One in Cardiff in the worst conditions I’ve ever played football.

“It would be nice to do it in front of our home fans this time, because they have got behind us all season.

“There’s an unreal spirit in the squad. We all go on about being part of the Sunderland family and that’s exactly what it is. We’ve achieved this together.”