RISING star Charlotte Bennett is targeting a successful return to form following a frustrating period on the sidelines through injury.
The 17-year-old midfielder from Wakefield hit the headlines at the beginning of the year when she was called up to the Doncaster Rovers Belles’ first team squad.
But a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained in the first pre-season game robbed the teenager of a chance to cement her place in the Belles’ Women’s Super League campaign and resulted in her undergoing two operations.
After four months out of action however, Charlotte is now on the road to full fitness and is looking forward to an exciting 12 months ahead in which she aims to start a four-year scholarship programme in the United States.
Charlotte signed for Belles in 2009 from the West Riding Centre of Excellence and has also represented her country in the England U19s squad.
Her move to Doncaster was marked by an impressive goal-scoring record that bode well for the team’s campaign in the Women’s Super League but the injury has resulted in Charlotte enduring a frustrating season.
She said: “It has been difficult because it’s the first real injury I have had so to spend so much time out is very frustrating.
“I have continued to work with the Belles squad and do some training and I have been told that I am recovering well.”
Charlotte is hopeful that she can return to the pitch before Christmas and although she will miss out on the Belles’ league season, a loan move to Leeds United Ladies for their winter season in the Premier League National Division should see the youngster back to her best next year.
An England training camp is scheduled for February but another incentive to get back to full fitness awaits Charlotte across the Atlantic, where she hopes to follow in the footsteps of Crigglestone’s Carina Fuller who, as reported in the Wakefield Express last month, has secured a four-year scholarship at Delaware State University.
Read this week’s Wakefield Express for more on this story and the latest sports news.