Todmorden footballer Evie in the running for regional award

Evie Priestley. Photo: Burnley FC in the Community
Evie Priestley. Photo: Burnley FC in the Community

Todmorden footballer Evie Priestley says she is overwhelmed to have been nominated for the Northwest Football Awards 2019.

Evie, who plays for Burnley, is in the running for the women’s rising star category alongside Manchester City and England player Georgia Stanway, plus players from Everton and Liverpool.

Evie Priestley. Photo: Burnley FC in the Community

Evie Priestley. Photo: Burnley FC in the Community

The 19-year-old former Todmorden High School pupil combines playing for Burnley with studying Nutrition at Leeds Beckett University.

“The club contacted me via email to advise me of the nomination and I am a bit overwhelmed by it all,” she said.

“It’s a privilege to have been nominated alongside some other great players, especially Georgia Stanway, who played in the World Cup for England.”

Evie won the manager’s player of the year award in her first year at Burnley, and won player of the year awards throughout her time the junior set-up.

“I travel back twice a week for training at Burnley then obviously at weekends for games,” she said.

“I play for the University football team and did play cricket for Lancashire but now concentrate on football although I am on the MCC University cricket team.

“I have brothers so I was always playing ball games as a child. My dad is also a keen sportsman and took me and my brothers to Turf Moor from an early age.

“I have been playing for Burnley since I was eight, joining the first team aged 16. I haven’t played for any other team.”

Evie has enjoyed lots of success with The Clarets, winning back to back promotions, which has taken them into the Premier League North, the third tier of the women’s game.

“At the moment I am happy at Burnley and hope that we do well in this new league as we have made a good start,” she said.

“Obviously, I want to progress as far as I can in the game. I play in attacking centre midfield and scored a hat trick in the penultimate game of last season which secured promotion with a game to spare.

“I don’t really think too far ahead – I just do what I do and take each season at a time.”

Matt Bee, female football development officer and women’s first team manager at Burnley FC, said: “It’s fully deserved. Every club will have their exciting young player who have had a good season and done good things in the first-team, and she certainly ticks those boxes. She’s been crucial for us.

“It’s a nice pat on the back for her. She doesn’t give herself as much credit as she should so hopefully this will give her that shot in the arm.

“If you look at some of the names she’s nominated with, there’s some really good players there so that should inspire her.

“She moved to Huddersfield, two divisions above us, but it didn’t work out.

“But she came back and was a massive part of us winning the North West Women’s League and the FA Women’s National League Division One.

“The way we play, she does a lot of hidden work, linking-up play, hassling centre-backs, and allows us to produce our combinations in attacking areas.

“Her attitude and willingness to learn and be better is top drawer.

“During pre-season last year, we asked her to play a left-midfield role rather than as a striker, and she did it without question, even though she knew that wasn’t her best position. That’s testament to her.

“She is shy, she doesn’t give too much away, but she has that desire and drive to be the best she can be.”

The awards take place on November 11 at old Trafford Cricket Ground. To vote, visit http://www.northwestfootballawards.com.