Wolves Women’s forward line should have pace to burn with the addition of former Loughborough Foxes striker Anna Renken, whose talents spread beyond the football pitch on to the athletics track.
An experienced 200 and 400-metre runner, Renken will be concentrating on football after signing for Dan McNamara’s team and making a bright start with a debut goal in the 2-1 pre-season friendly win against Newcastle United.
“I hope my pace can be an asset for Wolves,” says the Germany born, ex-Arsenal Academy player, who after a couple of years away from football spent last season playing for the Foxes while also fulfilling her athletics commitments.
“I’d had two seasons with the Foxes before I decided to concentrate on the track.” adds Renken. “Last season I did track and football but, at 35, my body can’t handle both and so when the chance to join Wolves came up, I took it.
“Eva Rogers, one of my Foxes teammates from last season, had joined Wolves and told me about the excellent facilities, the ambition and the support that the women’s team gets from the main club.
“It was all those things plus the friendliness of everybody I’ve come across at the club that convinced me this was the place I wanted to be. Now I want to get myself prepared for what will hopefully be a great season for us.”
Renken’s career path to Wolves has been somewhat nomadic, beginning in the German town of Essen where she was born to an English mother and German father and where she played her early football for SGS Essen-Schonebeck.
Moving to England on a soccer scholarship to Dover College aged 15, the youngster trained with the college’s boys’ team while turning out on weekends in league matches for Gillingham Women.
A spell at the Arsenal Academy, where colleagues included ex-England full back Alex Scott, ended when Renken decided on an academic career that saw her gain BSc and MSc honours at Loughborough University.
Still based in Loughborough, she now works in the investment team of Sport England while continuing a sporting career that will hopefully bring her success as part of the Wolves team in the coming Division 1 Midlands season.