To celebrate international women’s day, we caught up with Wales international and Seattle Reign star Jess Fishlock to find out what’s been going on in her life, how she’s preparing for the new season and her advice to budding footballers all over the world.
Scoring a fine goal and assisting the other in a 2-0 against Sydney FC, you helped Melbourne City win their third championship in as many years – not a bad start to 2018 right?
It’s a pretty good, I’m not going to lie! I’m just so glad we won. I’m so happy and so glad we achieved what we achieved.
On the pitch you clearly had an impact, but having taken up coaching positions in the last few years, what’s it been like adjusting to your role off the pitch?
It’s been really interesting. Obviously you see the game in a completely different way – it actually calmed me a little as a player and I see myself understanding more from a coach & sometimes the reasons they do or say things. I’m so very lucky I’ve been able to work with and under Laura Harvey, Joe Montemurro and PK – all completely different yet very successful.
Having won the NWSL Shield twice Stateside also, success seems to follow you wherever you go – what’s your secret?
I wish I had a secret to pass on! Credit must go to my teammates, I’ve always had fantastic teams around me – each and every one has been enjoyable as well as full of quality.
Just the 8,186 miles between Melbourne and Seattle, while you’ve also played for AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands, Glasgow City in Scotland and FFC Frankfurt in Germany to name a few. You’ve surely collected a decent amount of air miles, but what’s it like travelling across the world and living in such beautiful places?
I’m extremely lucky – I say this all the time. My life can sometimes be crazy, hectic and full of chaos, but the best thing about what I do is meeting fabulous people from all over the most beautiful places in the world.
Let’s get a little closer to home and talk about Wales. You’re the first player – female or male – to earn 100 caps for the national team. That’s some achievement, and one you must be immensely proud of?
Yeah, it’s probably the proudest moment of my life. Not just for me though, but the game was at home and my entire family got to be there with me. It was fitting seeing as they’ve sacrificed so much of their life for me to achieve my dreams.
Getting to the top hasn’t come without its challenges. What sort of adversities have you had to face and what advice would you give to other girls aspiring to follow your example both on and off the football pitch?
I’d say there are three things:
1) It gets hard. Life and football can get very hard. It’s tedious, repetitive and sometimes you don’t get picked for a team and it seems all so pointless and not worth it. It is. If you really want to get to the top – if it’s truly worth it and you can’t give up – you have to keep working and keep trusting the process.
2) Never let praise get to your head and never let negativity affect your mind. Always keep learning. Always.
3) Enjoy it. You have always got to enjoy it.
The modern game is changing though, and it seems each year the demands of playing a full 90 minutes increase. Technology has become the linchpin of modern football, but how has it helped you raise your game?
GPS technology has helped me immensely. The demands are so high now that not having the ability to use GPS, or most importantly, understanding the data can severely harm your playing level. It’s something I use daily to ensure when it comes to game time, I’m at peak condition and fresh. It allows me to understand when to push myself or when to rest, both are equally as important as each-other. Best thing I’ve done is invest in GPS and then understanding it personally.
Finally Jess, as we’re celebrating international women’s day, do you have a message for women across the world playing football?
Let’s keep changing the landscape of this game and pushing the limits of what we can achieve for each other worldwide.