As part of the build-up to International Women’s Day, today's Sky Bet Championship game against Cardiff City was to celebrate women at the game. Through Brentford Women’s FC, and the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s work in the community, hundreds of women and girls take part in football sessions in the local area every week.
We started our build-up to today's game by talking to First-Team and Development Team captains Lisa Grant and Charlotte Tanner. The final piece in our build-up sees us speak to Brentford FC Ticketing Assistant, and Ashford Town (Middlesex) striker, Ashley Cheatley about her career so far and what it's like to mix working and playing professional football.
When did you start playing football? I started playing when I was about two, but I signed for my first club (Hanwell Town) at nine.
How did you get into football? My parents took me to the park and I would kick the ball around for hours.
Who is your biggest inspiration in football? Ronaldo, everything he does is quick, full of power and different, he’s a stand out player and is limitless, that’s what I want to be.
What’s your earliest playing memory? Playing for my first team, we would win easily every week and after a season my coaches organised for me to attend a trial at QPR.
How would you describe your career journey thus far? I’d like to say it's been successful. I’ve been able to play at different levels in different leagues, obtain top goal scorer for 3 consecutive seasons, and represent Middlesex County FA. I couldn’t have been more happier with what I’ve achieved and what I may go onto achieving.
What was the experience like of playing in the WSL with Millwall? Is it a level that you would like to return to? It was unreal for me to have even been spotted by Millwall Lioness; I couldn’t get my head around it. I was so excited. To play alongside players within the England set-up was an opportunity I had to take. Everybody dreams of playing at the top. However, I know where I play my best football and where I enjoy it most, which is Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies who I re-signed for at the beginning of the Season.
What’s it like working in a football club while playing too? It’s actually pretty cool. My life revolves around football and to be able to watch Brentford and how the players play is something I can take with me into training and game day with me.
Which teams (male, female, or both) do you support? I support Manchester United, and I have a lot of love and time for Brentford. I don’t watch women’s football as regularly but I think Manchester City Women play entertaining football.
Favourite male player? Ronaldo
Favourite female player? Nikita Parris
Best moment/memory from playing? My best footballing memory would be when I featured in the FA Cup Third Round, Millwall Lionesses v Nottingham Forest. I came on as a substitute in the 83rd minute to score on my debut and assist a goal resulting in a 3-1 win.