Olivia Basham in training for Cardiff City

City in Focus | Olivia Basham's breakthrough campaign

It’s been a season of huge development for City playmaker Olivia Basham this campaign.

Having previously represented the Bluebirds at U16 and U19 level, Olivia has gained regular senior team opportunities and has impressed when making the step up.

Reflecting on a season of progress, Olivia said: “I’m really happy that Iain [Darbyshire] has given me the opportunity to play for the senior team. It’s good to know that my performances for the U19s have been recognised by having a chance with the seniors.

“In training, I’ve been trying to push myself to play to a high enough standard to be a part of the senior team and it has been really good to test myself against some of the best players in Wales. I’ve worked really hard in training over the last few years and that’s paid off with opportunities for the senior team.

“All of the girls have been really welcoming. It’s a really nice environment to be a part of, because it’s a really close squad. To see the way that the girls train and their standards, it’s great to learn from. I have so many players to look up to and there are parts to their game that I can take into mine.”

Olivia Basham

There have been significant highlights in Olivia’s season so far, netting her first senior goals with a brace in the Adran Trophy against Pontardawe Town in December.

The City attacker also gained her first experience of playing at Cardiff City Stadium, as the Bluebirds claimed a 3-0 win over Wrexham last month.

Olivia continued: “It was a really great feeling to score my first goals for the senior team, because it was something I have worked towards for a long time. I was grateful for the opportunity to do that.

“It was a great experience to play at Cardiff City Stadium, it’s something you dream of. I loved playing there and hopefully, I can do it again soon. I’ve worked towards that for a while, so to be playing at the stadium, it was a great feeling.

“I definitely feel more confident now that I have had more opportunities. It’s a great boost for me to have more playing time. With the more minutes I get, the more I can develop and prove myself.”

Olivia Basham

Not only has Olivia broken through into the senior side this season, but she has also been joined by her exciting U19 team-mates.

The likes of Madison Lloyd, Mali Ackerman, Demi Parry, Grace Phillips, Grace Evans, Brooke Arthur and Marnie Gingell have all gained senior experience this campaign.

A fantastic moment came in a 6-0 win over The New Saints last month, where striker Lloyd’s first Adran Premier goal was assisted by Olivia.

Olivia concluded: “It was a really good feeling to assist Maddie, because we’ve played together from the U16s all the way up to the senior team, so it was a big moment for us.

“It’s nice to have a lot of players that I’ve played with for a long time coming up to the senior team at the same time as me. It gives me more confidence to have them with me.

“By having an U19s team, it’s such a great pathway into the senior team. We all look up to the senior players we learn from them.

“Both the senior team and the U19s team play similar formations, so when you’re playing with the U19s, you’re coached by Noah [Bushby] and Tom [Stiley] to learn how the senior team play. When you take that step up then, it’s more comfortable because you already know their system.”