Actonians FC centre midfielder Rhiannon Ishmael is optimistic about the future of women’s football and says the next generation have a lot to be inspired by.

Rhiannon, 25, was born to a Native Canadian mother and a father from Barbados and grew up in west London.

She credits the England women's football team's success in the 2019 World Cup with inspiring the next generation of young girls to play football.

She said: “I feel they’ve paved the way for up-and-coming talent and proved that they deserve the spotlight, especially with how well they did during the 2019 World Cup. 

“Now that the women's game is more regularly televised, it gives the new generation of female footballers positive and relatable role models look up to.”

Rhiannon has loved football since primary school when she said she had to earn the boys’ respect to play football with them.

QPR was her first football club after being scouted at the QPR Study Support Centre after-school club. She started training with the Under 13 girls’ team at 11.

At 19 Rhiannon was awarded a four-year football scholarship at William Carey University in Mississippi. 

She said: “The whole experience of living abroad and playing for my university while obtaining my degree was a highlight. I also play futsal for Pro5 Street futsal, and I scored my team’s first international goal on tour in Portugal.”

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Rhiannon said of her time at QPR: “Training was intense at times. Playing football requires a lot of dedication, you have to balance your work, life or studies with training and matches, it's definitely been worth it.”

Football has also provided Rhiannon with other opportunities such as coaching, education and modelling.

She has modelled for big brands such as Barclays, Nike and Sports Direct. 

Rhiannon said: “Life as a model is fun. You get to travel, meet new people, try on the latest clothes, sometimes football boots and take loads of pictures and videos! Plus, I enjoy getting my hair and make-up done by professionals!

“Overall, I really enjoy modelling and I hope I get more opportunities to do so.”