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Bradley: An opportunity I couldn’t turn down

“I think when Gemma Donnelly gave me that opportunity, it was one that I couldn’t turn down”

6 August 2020

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New Rovers Ladies goalkeeper Emma Bradley says she is excited to be back at the Club and ready for the challenge ahead.

The 18-year-old became Gemma Donnelly’s first summer signing ahead of the new season, moving back to the Club she spent her formative years at, within the Regional Talent Club. 

Bradley spoke of her delight at being able to return to Rovers to work under Donnelly and the first-team coaching staff. 

“It’s amazing,” she said in her first interview since joining. “Obviously I started at this Club when I was 11, stayed for five years and it was really the roots of my development. 

“I wouldn’t be where I am now with England and had the experiences I’ve had, without all the support I got from Blackburn at an early age. 

“I didn’t take much convincing [to sign]! I absolutely love Blackburn, I live here and it’s a Club that I did want to play for when I was older. 

“I think when Gemma (Donnelly) gave me that opportunity, it was one that I couldn’t turn down.”

Bradley has got to know her new teammates in training over the last few weeks and revealed she settled in quickly within the squad. 

“It’s been good, it seems like a really close knit group,” she continued. “There aren’t any cliques in the group, it’s like a family. 

“Everyone is very welcoming and I know it’s a professional environment where everyone is going to push each other.”

The shot stopper spent the last two years at Manchester City’s Academy, which she believes was crucial to her development as a young player, alongside her time with the Lionesses youth setup, including most recently England Under-17s. 

Bradley added: “I think the experience there was one that I couldn’t have got anywhere else. It was professional, it was challenging, training with the Devs squad and training with the first-team. 

“I’ve had a lot of experiences that other 18-year-olds wouldn’t have had and I’ve been training around players like Karen Bardsley and Ellie Roebuck, that have pushed me and developed me and challenged me. 

“I think [playing for England], it’s really good because it’s different coaches and you learn a lot from other people your age who are playing.

‘It’s something you couldn’t recreate, travelling all over the world to places you wouldn’t normally go. With England it’s more the experiences you get coming along with them.

“I’ve been able to learn from them and it’s been exciting at City, but I’m ready for a new challenge.”

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