Impetus are proud to sponsor Leah Embley, who plays for Brighouse Town in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier. Around two months into Leah’s first campaign with Brighouse and the club’s debut season in tier three, she caught up with Ben Gilby.
Above: Leah Embley gets in a shot for Brighouse Town against West Bromwich Albion. Photo supplied by Leah Embley.
We last spoke to Leah in August when she had just signed for Brighouse Town from FA Women’s Championship side Blackburn Rovers. The talented midfielder updated us with how she has settled into life with the Yorkshire side.
“I feel as though I’ve settled in really well. The girls and staff have made me feel really welcome. I’m loving every second of playing for this club.
“We have a great squad on and off the pitch, everybody gets on and has a laugh, definitely makes things easier going on to the pitch knowing everybody has your back and you have theirs.
“Pre-season was a good chance to bond with the girls and get to know how everybody plays. It was enabled me to score a few goals and boost my confidence back up.”
Ahead of the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier season kicking off, Leah set herself some personal targets on top of the ones that the club set.
“On a personal level, I wanted to score a few early goals and have a good start in terms of performance level. I have high standards in terms of what I expect from myself, sometimes I am too hard on myself possibly, but it makes me continue to push and want more.
“With this being our first season in this league we wanted to settle but also compete with every team we faced which I think we have done.”
“In the first game of the season against Derby County, we pushed them to the very end, we battled hard and we made a statement that we aren’t in the league to make up the numbers.
“Unfortunately we’ve drawn a few games where we have been the better team but haven’t taken our chances, but to only lose one so far in the league is a credit to the staff and girls here.”
Whilst this is Brighouse Town’s first-ever campaign in the third tier, Leah has played in the division before. She assessed how the current Brighouse team compares to other teams you’ve come across in the division in the past.
“I feel as though we’ve got a togetherness which is important. We have competition and strength in every single position, we have no weak players. Sometimes you can play off a team’s weaknesses but I think teams would struggle to pick a weakness in our side, especially when we have an all-round great squad fully fit.”
Among the recent games for Brighouse was one against Burnley, a team that Leah had success with previously.
“Obviously I wanted to win the game, I want to win every game but this one felt a little bit different as I learned my trade in a way whilst I was there. I had amazing memories and that was probably the turning point in my career when I realized how much potential I had. I respect all the girls there that I played with and the staff have always been incredible with me. It was good to get the win and it was a well-fought three points that we deserved.”
Coming into a new club playing at the highest level they’ve ever been at is one full of challenges. For Leah, the toughest hurdle so far came on the opening day.
“Losing against Derby County in that first game and bringing ourselves back together after losing was tough, but we took the positives out of the performance and worked on our weaknesses.”
Looking at the positive side of things, Leah is pleased with how her personal performances have been going, form which was capped with a player of the match award after scoring two outstanding goals against Stoke City on 10th October.
“I am really happy with my form and how I’ve been playing. I’ve always been a player that pushes myself and empties the tank every training session and every game. I am still learning and I feel like the confidence the manager and players have given me has allowed me to express myself a lot, that’s helped massively especially being an attacker.”
Having now been at the club for a few months, Leah believes that there is a bright future ahead for Brighouse Town.
“We can definitely push on. We can compete with every team in this league and it would be nice to get as far as we can in the cup competitions too.”