SINCE she first laid eyes on a bobsleigh, Consett's Mica McNeill set her sights on reaching the Youth Olympic Games but she has warned her rivals she isn't just looking to make up the numbers in Austria.

The 18-year-old negotiated four tough qualifying races, with partner Jazmin Sawyers, to earn herself a plane ticket for Innsbruck as part of Great Britain's 24-strong team.

And if early signs are anything to go by then the Durham High School for Girls pupil will be one to watch out for, driving the team to two second-places, one third and a fourth in their four European qualification events.

The only teams McNeill hasn't seen are the Japanese and the Canadians ahead of the competition but after admitting that her preparation had been three years in the making, she insists she has no intention of slipping away from the podium.

"I was delighted when we qualified because it has just been such a long build up for it," said McNeill, who took up the sport on the advice of 2009 world champion Nicola Minichiello.

"I started in 2009 and teamed up with Jazmin in 2010 and since the very beginning we have been working towards this competition.

"It makes it so much better when you achieve something that you have had your sights set on for such a long time.

"We came second twice, third once and fourth once in the qualifying for the European teams - obviously a good sign and hopefully there is more to come.

"It gives us hope for the competition itself and we are out to win a medal. We want to build on our good start and we definitely feel as though we can achieve our goal."

With more than 1,000 athletes descending on Innsbruck and the Great British team spearheaded by chef de mission Sir Clive Woodward, McNeill is getting her first taste of Olympic-style competition.

And with the former High Spen Primary School dreaming big, she hopes it is just her first competition of many.

"The competition will provide me with some great experience of what a competition of this size is like," she added.

"The long-term aim for us is either the Winter Olympics in 2014 or 2018 and this is a great way to start - it hopefully means there will be bigger and better things further down the line."

The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values.