ALICE Hopkins is aiming to take her career to the next level as she prepares for her first international event of the year.

The Oxford City AC star will pull on an England vest at Saturday’s European Indoor Championships in Vienna, where she competes in the long jump.

Hopkins hopes it will not be the last time she faces the continent’s best, with a spot at August’s outdoor equivalent in France firmly in her sights.

At that point, many athletes will have just returned from the Tokyo Olympics, whereas the 21-year-old’s long-term goal is the 2024 Games.

And Hopkins knows this could play into her hands as she gears up for a big few months.

She said: “A lot of people look at it as a four-year cycle and I’ve just fallen into that.

“I feel I’d have a decent chance (of making the European outdoor Championships), because all the major elite long jumpers will probably be targeting the Olympics.

“It’s another small stepping stone, but it means the pressure’s off my shoulders.”

Hopkins’s appearance in Vienna comes almost exactly a year after her Great Britain debut, finishing sixth in the pentathlon at the Indoor Combined Events International Match in Cardiff.

In the 12 months that followed, she retained her long jump title at the England Under 23 Championships and finished seventh at the European Under 23 games.

Hopkins is England’s sole long-jumper in Vienna, with clubmate Jade O’Dowda competing at the parallel event in Linz a week later.

It kicks off what could be an intense six weeks, which includes the British and world indoor championships – the latter in Nanjing, China.

If she is selected, those competitions will represent the next step in her progression, with the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Paris Olympics further down the line.

But Hopkins knows she cannot get too ahead of herself if she is to continue her path to the top.

She said: “At the moment, a big target is to retain the Under 23 title this summer.

“A few girls in the year below are coming up so it will be good competition for me.

“But the nationals (championships next month) are another goal of mine and after that it’s picking up a GB vest.

“You tick everything off after each year and then aim a little bit higher.”