By Amanda Lansbury, EDI Officer, MKDSA
Rhianne Rush is a midfielder for the MK Dons Women’s team. I recently had the pleasure to meet with Dons the number 8 Rhianne at the MK Dons SET awards and was lucky enough to be able to secure an interview for some all important questions and show why the popularity of women’s football is on the rise and thanks to the women’s Euros more and more young girls are choosing to play.
What age did you realise that you wanted to become a footballer?
As soon as I started kicking a ball! I’d say I soon realised I wanted to become a footballer when I noticed I was the best player in my grassroots league, plus the top goal scorer every year, getting hat tricks in almost every single game as a Centre Midfielder.
Who was your idol growing up?
I never had many idols growing up, as I was very self-motivated to being the best and due to the lack of coverage for the women’s game, I didn’t know many. However, once I started to discover more about women’s football over the years the player that stood out to me was Leah Williamson as she grew up in Milton Keynes and is a massive face in the women’s game. She is a role model to the younger generation of girls and plays at the level I want to be in and can inspire those who I want to inspire one day too.
Who/What motivated you to become interested in this particular sport?
I would say I’ve always been a self-motivated and fell in love with the game as I was an enthusiastic, competitive girl who wanted to be the best. Playing football with the boys in primary school when I was younger is what sparked my passion. I remember wanting to be better than them and seeing how shocked some of them were when I played against them. This was when I knew the journey, I was going to have would be life changing but challenging.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years?
I don’t usually like planning too far ahead as things change constantly in the women’s game and life in general (such as the covid pandemic). However, I do have an end goal… which is to be playing in the Women’s Super League and inspiring the younger generations of girls who have had to work from the bottom upwards.
What are your greatest strengths as a footballer ?
My greatest strengths would be my Work Rate as I will always put 110% effort into everything I do. My Committed to always do more than others in and out of football and my Enthusiasm to learn constantly to better myself. I am also very passionate when it comes to being a team player as I want the best for the club, no matter what the badge is. Plus, I’ve been told that I am a work horse who just doesn’t stop running!
What premier league team if any do you support and why?
I support Arsenal because I funnily enough didn’t watch too much of men’s football, as I preferred watching the women’s games. However, my football 1 to 1 coach told me how important it was to watch and analyse football games. Him, being an Arsenal supporter assigned me a task to watch every one of their games to analyse the players and their decision making, which I then decided that I wanted to be an Arsenal Supporter for the men and women.
What’s your Favourite game you’ve played, for the MK Dons so far?
I have played so many amazing games at MK Dons, however I think the one that stood out was when we played Oxford at home last season. We were fighting a relegation battle and desperately needed points to stay safe. As Oxford are a strong side, we had our doubts that we would miss out on more much needed points…however we worked so hard as a team to get a goal and then all we had to do was defend for our lives for 40 minutes. When the final whistle went, the smile of every one of our faces was great. We won 1-0 and those 3 points that we fought for, helped save us from relegation. I am a sucker for team performances like that!
What advice would you give to the younger generation that are thinking about becoming more involved in the sport?
ENJOY having a ball at your feet and never stop believing in yourself! Even when things aren’t in your favour. Its very easy to get lost in the game as you grow older and you can lose the spark that you had when you were younger, however just remind yourself of why you started and all the hard work you have put in, and to not let it go to waste because it will work out in the end, if you keep believing and playing with a smile on your face.
Thank you very much for answering my questions, myself and the MKDSA would like to wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season.