Age: 21 years old.
Current club: Bangor City
Former Clubs: Blackburn Rovers, Chorley (loan).
MANY fans of Bangor City were excited to see what Dean Rittenberg could bring to the club last season and they certainly haven’t been left disappointed by his arrival.
The 21-year-old first came through the youth and academy ranks at Blackburn Rovers to the development squad and won international honours with England’s Under-18s.
He then had a spell on-loan with National League North outfit Chorley in 2015/16, before joining Bangor City in January 2017.
Last season, he scored three goals in 12 Welsh Premier League appearances and became an instant hit amongst the fans due to his tireless work rate at the attacking end of the field.
His popular status was further enhanced when he netted the winner in the Europa League qualifying play-off final against Cardiff Met Uni back in May to take Bangor back into the qualifying rounds of a European competition for the first time in three years.
This season, the Citizens are aiming to go one step further and qualify automatically for Europe and possibly even challenge TNS, Bala and Connah’s Quay for the title come the end of the season.
Rittenberg is expected to play a big role in that secondary striker position of his and fans are excited to see what he can do in his first full season with the club.
He recentyl told AFEFootballNews that he aims to replicate last seasons success during 2017/18. Here’s the full interview with the rising star here …
AFE: Hi Dean. First off, who do you support and who was your footballing idol when growing up?
DR: Hi mate. I support Liverpool and growing up I always watched Michael Owen.
I always wanted to be like him and that’s why I love wearing number 10!
AFE: You came through the youth ranks at Blackburn Rovers. How did that help you improve as a player?
DR: Yes, I think it helped a lot because it’s a strict routine being a full-time footballer.
Playing with a lot of good players from a young age definitely helped too!
AFE: Who are the best players you’ve played alongside and against and why?
DR: Played against some great players whilst I was at Blackburn’s under 23’s.
I played against Mikel Arteta, Ander Herrera, Theo Walcott and Wilfried Zaha when they were all coming back from injuries and playing for their under 23’s sides, they’re probably the biggest names.
I played alongside some big names when I played for England’s under 18’s set up. Players who went on to big things like Dele Alli, Brendon Galloway and Ryan Kent, they’re probably the ones who have stood out the most so far.
AFE: What made you want to come to the WPL and join Bangor City?
DR: I’ve always known about Bangor!
I think it was the right time for me to get out of under 23’s football and play in senior football within a good league so that I can develop my game further.
AFE: How did it feel to score the goal that got the Citizens back into European football?
DR: Yeah that was a great feeling scoring the winner because that was the main aim of our season: to qualify for Europe!
It was definitely what we deserved from our season and also a good experience to play a couple of games in the competition (against Lyngby BK).
AFE: Did you enjoy your Danish experience then?
DR: Yeah it was a great experience to travel with the team to play in a big game like that and hold our own against Lyngby.
They were a quality side.
AFE: Do you think that playing alongside the likes of Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Dan Nardiello has helped you improve your game?
DR: Yeah definitely.
They both have a lot of experience in the game and have helped me from the day I arrived at Bangor. It’s a different type of football to the u23’s so it was a big help!
AFE: Finally, what are your targets both personally and as a club this season in your opinion?
DR: Personally, I’m a goalscorer and I love scoring goals so playing a more right wing position this season, I would love to get into double figures and hopefully get a few assists to go with it as well.
Club wise, we expect to be right up there challenging for the title and the cup this season, everyone believes that we can do that.
Thanks for talking to AFEFootballNews Dean and all the best to you and the Citizens in your 2017/18 WPL campaign.