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Women/Girls

Venditto: I could not be more proud to be part of this team

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Olivia Venditto’s reflection on her first season with the Cherries was simple: “I’ve enjoyed every minute.”

The 20-year-old, signed by AFC Bournemouth at the start of the season, has played an integral part in Steve Cuss’s side’s incredible campaign.

The Cherries went unbeaten in Women’s National League Division One South West, narrowly missing out on the title and promotion behind Exeter City, who they drew 1-1 with on the final day.

Despite that setback, Venditto and her teammates picked themselves up to win the Adopt South Hampshire Women’s Senior Cup on Monday.

They overcame Southampton under-21s 3-1 in the final at Aldershot’s EBB Stadium, thanks to goals from Kenni Thompson, Lucy Cooper and Erin Bloomfield.

Venditto, who had previously been in Brighton’s academy, said: “I’ve loved it.

“It’s my first season in women’s football and the girls have been absolutely incredible. They welcomed me in from the get-go. I’ve enjoyed every minute.”

As well as taking on new surroundings with the Cherries, Solent University student Venditto has also adapted to a different area of the pitch.

Primarily a central midfielder, she has been tasked with operating at full-back.

“With the adaptation of my position, the girls have been behind me the whole way and I could not be more proud to be part of this team,” she added.

“It’s been different but I then know what to expect from a centre-midfielder in that position, so you can vision the pitch a bit better.

“I’ve enjoyed the challenge and learning new things about the game. It’s a whole different game to academy football.”

Venditto was delighted to finish her campaign by lifting silverware as the Cherries retained their county crown.

She said: “Throughout the season we have worked incredibly hard, turning up every week and putting in the effort in training. I think the girls fully deserved it.

“I think we could have put out a stronger performance but we showed what we are about, putting in challenges and going to get that silverware.”

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