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SUPER STRIKER: Young Pinner footballer on the road to becoming an England Lioness

 Published on: 18th March 2024   |   By: Panayiota Demosthenous   |   Category: Uncategorized

A young Pinner footballer has achieved great success just four years after picking up the sport, and is now on the pathway to becoming an England Lioness.

Gabriella Bastianelli, 12, became interested in football during the COVID-19 lockdown, when she would kick footballs around the house to pass the time.

Speaking to Pinnernews, her dad Massimo said: “I saw her kicking that ball around and I thought, we need to get you in a team!”

For her first season, Gabriella played with Ruislip Rangers FC, but soon began climbing the football tiers. She now plays at the Tottenham Girls Emerging Talent Centre, where she attended trials with 1,000 others girls and became one of three selected to join the academy.

The young star also plays for the St Albans Lionesses in the Herts League Division 1, and boys’ team Panthera. Her skills mean she often plays in teams in the age bracket above her own.

As well as playing for her school team at St Joan of Arc where she is the top goal scorer, her other team, the St Albans Lionesses, were crowned Champion of Champions at the ESF Football Grand Finale last year, where she was also the top goal scorer.

Massimo continued: “She is one of the quietest girls and quite introverted, but once she gets on the pitch, she really comes out of her shell. She’s very humble.”

Her successes don’t end there; Gabriella has been identified as a Future Lioness and is on the Lioness Talent ID Pathway, a program that puts players on the road to becoming an England Lioness.

Massimo added: “The funny thing is I was never really a football dad, and now my whole world is football! It’s wonderful seeing what the FA funding and teams like Spurs are doing for girls’ football. So many more girls are getting involved; they love playing, and seeing them do well is amazing!”

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