AN Arsenal Ladies starlet from Shoebury has signed new terms with the club, and says the women’s game is only going in one direction.
Chloe Brunton-Wilde joined the Gunners two years ago, having impressed at a trials day in June 2012 – so much so that only two of 300 girls were successful in joining a club.
Brunton-Wilde was one of them and has not looked back, and she is now a regular in the under-17 set-up. But she has her sights set higher.
“I want to go as far as I can with Arsenal,” said the central midfielder. “I think I can make it at this level and I turned down an opportunity to join up with the Charlton Athletic first-team because this is where I want to be.”
The 16-year-old recently went on tour with Angela Cuerden’s under-17 team to southern France to play Lyon – a match they lost 2-1, but Brunton-Wilde said she took a lot of positives from the trip.
“It was a wonderful experience,” she said. “Although we lost the match we played some really good football and I learnt a lot.”
And playing abroad is something that appeals to the young central midfielder, who models herself on Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and is expected to break into the Arsenal reserves next season.
“I would love to develop my game in America in the future,” she said. “The facilities out there are really impressive, although they are getting better all the time in this country.
“The women’s game is really developing well in the UK and it is a really exciting time for young women in the sport. Man City are making big strides and more and more people are taking notice of ladies football and participating in it as well.”
Brunton-Wilde recently got her GCSE grades, which she said she was “very pleased with” and will continue at Shoeburyness High School sixth form come September.
But for now she is concentrating on her football, with training sessions twice a week at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground.
Her mum Nicola Wilde said she was proud of her daughter’s efforts.
“She has done so well with her studies and her football,” she said. “We (Nicola and husband Graham) have always supported her and it is wonderful to see her achieving all her dreams.”