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Get to know – Olivia Venditto


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Not only does Olivia Venditto have some impressive academic qualifications, she’s also passed her AFC Bournemouth entrance exam with flying colours.

One of five new signings for the Cherries women’s team, Venditto has played her part in helping them make a 100 per cent winning start in the National League and reach the first round of the FA Cup.

She will be hoping to feature when Steve Cuss's team host Portishead Town at Vitality Stadium on Sunday (2pm kick-off).

Venditto, who has made nine appearances, is studying towards a sport and exercise psychology degree at Solent University.

Her CV boasts no fewer than nine GCSEs, an A-level in psychology, grade A, and a BTEC in sport and exercise science, passed with a double distinction star.

Venditto has also received some glowing reports since joining the Cherries from Brighton.

The 19-year-old has also showed a high level of commitment, commuting to Bournemouth from her home in West Sussex, a three-hour round trip twice a week for training and on matchdays.

Venditto is in her first season in women’s football having cut her teeth playing grassroots for Worthing Town before progressing through the academy ranks at Brighton.

“I’m enjoying myself,” said Venditto. “Everyone has played their part in our good start to the season and I’m very happy to be here.

“The girls work hard on the training ground and it’s showing in games. Everyone made me feel at home straight away and they are a great group.

“I’m loving the challenge of playing women’s football. It’s different but it will definitely help improve my performances so I’m looking forward to what the season has to offer. 

“The travelling is a big commitment but it’s what you want to do. You want to play for the badge on your shirt.

“When I had my first chat with Steve Cuss, his aims for the team were something I wanted to push for as well and we’ve got the potential to go far with this squad.”

Venditto, who has already shown her versatility by playing in midfield and defence for the Cherries, hopes her studies will help her on the pitch.

She said: “I first got involved in sports psychology through the combination of my college studies in sport and exercise science and A-level psychology.

“I also received support from people working in the psychology field at Brighton when I was going through an injury and it ignited a passion to help others.

“I’m learning things on the mental side which, hopefully, I can bring on to the pitch – composure, motivation and dealing with stress and anxiety. Those things can make a huge difference to your game.”

Should the Cherries ever embark on a tour to China, Venditto could be the ideal guide having gained a GCSE in Mandarin, the most common dialect used in the country.

She explained: “At school, I was offered either Mandarin or French so I chose Mandarin as I felt it would be more challenging having to learn the characters.

“It’s been a while since I spoke it but I can remember a few phrases. We had an incredible experience to go to China for two weeks when I was in year 10 which definitely helped me improve my understanding of the language.” 

Click here for ticket information for the game at Vitality Stadium against Portishead Town.

This article appeared in MATCHDAY for the visit of Arsenal earlier this season.

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