Female Football Focus 2021 – Emily Bentley (Rhyl 1879)

Emily Bentley pictured during her two-year spell at Burnley

Emily Bentley is a brilliant 18-year-old winger who is top-scorer for a CPD Y Rhyl 1879 side which has started the 2021-22 season in the North Wales Women’s League very impressively.

Grassroots North Wales chatted to ex-Burnley player Emily about some of her career highlights so far.

FULL NAME

Emily May Bentley

PLACE OF BIRTH

Prestatyn

DATE OF BIRTH

May 19, 2003

HEIGHT

5 feet 4 inches

OCCUPATION

University of Chester student

Glamorous for the school prom

HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN FOOTBALL?

I have always enjoyed football since I was younger and played at lunchtime with the boys when I was at school. My uncle and cousin are big football fans and have always played football and I think I have been influenced by them.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING THE GAME?

For as long as I can remember. I joined my first girls’ team at 11, so have been playing as part of a team for 8 seasons.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS PLAYED IN THE POSITION THAT YOU PLAY NOW?

I regularly played as a striker during my first few seasons of playing junior football. I have moved into the winger position and prefer the right wing.

WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING SCHEDULE LIKE?

I train on Tuesday for Rhyl and play on Sunday. I train and play on Wednesday for my Uni team. I tend to go to the gym, go running and work on football fitness and skills.

IF YOU ARE NOT PLAYING FOOTBALL, WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

I volunteer as assistant-coach for Prestatyn Athletic Celtic Under 16’s boys’ team which includes coaching and supporting at matches. When there is no football to be involved in, I like to binge on I-Player series, my favourite is Miranda.

DO YOU LIKE SHOPPING? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE STORIES?

I don’t really like shopping, but I will shop online at M and M and Sports Direct.

Pictured after winning the RT & T Tournament with Prestatyn Girls

WHICH FEMALE FOOTBALLER DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?

Nikita Parris has always been my favourite football player. I like watching her play; she is very quick and has some fantastic skills.

AWAY FROM FOOTBALL, WHAT FEMALE SPORTSMAN/WOMAN DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST?

My mum, she always helps me with everything and has supported me with my football.

WHICH COACH HAS INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST?

Steve Howsam, former Prestatyn Girls and Wrexham Girls Academy coach; he was a quality coach and always had time for his players. He really encouraged me in my early years of playing football.

DO YOU PRACTICE A CERTAIN DIET WHILST YOU ARE IN TRAINING OR DURING THE FOOTBALL SEASON?

I don’t have a specific diet plan, but I do try to eat healthy meals and foods.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FEELINGS ON THE WOMEN’S FOOTBALL PYRAMID CHANGES IN WALES?

Not really, I just enjoy playing, however it has always frustrated me that women’s football is not given the same status as men’s football.

TELL US ABOUT THE GREATEST GAME YOU HAVE PLAYED IN

When I played for Prestatyn Girls against Rhyl. I had been trying for two seasons to score from a corner after watching ‘Bend it like Beckham’ and I finally achieved my goal during this game.

HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT BURNLEY?

I absolutely loved it! I would still be there if it wasn’t for the fact that I came home to go to university and sadly I don’t drive yet.

HOW DO YOU FEEL THIS SEASON HAS STARTED BOTH PERSONALLY AND FOR CPD Y RHYL 1879?

Rhyl have had a brilliant start to the season. There have been some changes with players and staff coming and going, but it hasn’t really affected the team too much. Personally, it is nice to be back with some of the old faces and meeting new faces.

WHAT IS YOUR FINEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE AS A FOOTBALLER?

To be one of the first 15-year-olds to play in the Women’s Welsh Premiership with Rhyl.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE ALL-TIME KIT?

When I was younger, I always liked to wear the Portugal kits. Ronaldo is one of my favourite players; he is just a football machine!

WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL TASTES?

Country music.

Pictured after success at the Rhyl FC Tournament

DO YOU WATCH TV SOAPS? IF SO, WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHARACTER?

I don’t like watching TV soaps, but I do like watching the Frasier reruns in the mornings.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS FOR A HOLIDAY?

I have just had a lovely family holiday in the Cotswolds during the October half term break.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS?

We have about 8 Koi Carp in the pond in our garden.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB?

Anything to do with football – a professional footballer or coaching at a high level.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE IN THE FUTURE AS A FOOTBALLER?

I was born in Wales but my parents are English so I would like to achieve a Welsh or English cap and play football at a high level, either pro or semi-pro.

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