Jessica’s Reign

After spending yesterday in the past, today we jump right forward to the present day. In the latter of part of the first 100 years of US soccer, the men’s game has been slowly catching up with the rest of the world. The women’s game, however, has long been ahead of the pack and is looking to stay there with the introduction of a new league this year, the National Women’s Soccer League. We spoke to Wales captain Jessica Fishlock, currently of NWSL team Seattle Reign, about life and football in the US.
Jessica Fishlock in action for Seattle Reign

Jessica Fishlock in action for Seattle Reign

The last time we reported on Jessica Fishlock, it was midway through the 2012 FA Women’s Super League. Her club, Bristol Academy, eventually saw her clinch a very respectable fourth place finish, and as well as bagging herself four goals along the way, Fishlock ended the season with several awards, including the coveted WSL Players’ Player of the Year.
The months since that season ended last October have been very busy for Fishlock with two cross continental moves. First, she moved on-loan to Melbourne Victory in Australia’s W-League. She played six league games- in which the team went undefeated- and scored two goals for the Victory, to help them clinch an end of season play-off berth (Melbourne Victory eventually lost to Sydney in the championship final).
She then returned to Bristol Academy to begin pre-season training, but was soon boarding long haul flight, this time for Seattle, USA. There, she was to join Seattle Reign of the newly-formed National Women’s Soccer League and after a difficult start, Fishlock and her teammates are finally finding their feet and beginning to slowly make their way up the table.
On top of all that, Cardiff-born Fishlock has continued to play for and captain Wales, bringing her total to 67 caps and 19 international goals. Despite all this, she has very kindly taken the time to speak to Lost Boyos about all the goings-on of the last 12 months. You can read what she had to say below.
Wales captain

Wales captain

Lost Boyos: How have you settled in at Seattle? How did the move come about? Was playing in the US always part of your career plan?

 Jess FishlockSeattle is a great city. At first due to our schedule it took a while to settle in. Now though, I love it. We live in a great area and the city is beautiful. Playing in America I think is always a path most women’s footballers would love to take. It’s so big in America, like on another level with regards to how much the sport is loved and followed. The US national team has done so well for so long now that its loved here.

LB: After a difficult start, your club Seattle Reign is on a great run of form. What has changed?

JF: I don’t think an awful lot has changed to be honest. It just look a little longer than expected for it all to come together. We knew it would take time, we just had to keep believing and keep working. When you want to play how we want to play, it’s going to take a little bit more time. It’s a good feeling when it all comes together.

LB: Your tweets/blogs from Melbourne suggested you didn’t entirely enjoy all the travelling around; How are you coping with games right the way across the US?

JF: Haha – travelling is the worst. Like, it actually is the worst thing. Playing, then going back to a hotel to get up early to go to airport after airport after airport is the worst thing about it all. However, my iPod is possibly the best iPod in the world and so it gets me through these tough times.

LB: The US is such an important market for the women’s game, but has already had a few failed attempts at a professional women’s league: what do you think makes the new National Women’s Soccer League different? What differences are there between the NWSL and the WSL in Britain?

JS: I think the way US soccer and the other federations have approached the league, with much more caution than before is key for its sustainability. They intend on building the product which is a great approach and already it has so many positives things about it that I believe will keep it here for years to come.

LB: Hope Solo is one of the women’s game’s most recognisable names, so what’s she like as a teammate? Which players, at Seattle or elsewhere, have impressed you most?

JS: Hope is brilliant, as a goalkeeper and as a teammate. Sometimes, you know, you forget it’s Hope and end up shouting something back at your backline and goalkeeper … to then realise seconds later you’ve just shouted at Hope Solo and hope to god she didn’t hear it, haha. A lot of my team mates have impressed. When you don’t know players and then you join them, you are always going to be a little surprised / impressed. Our team is very very talented individually and it’s about us putting all that talent together with the right balance, to create a very talented team

LB: You picked up several individual awards at the end of the 2012 WSL; What did these mean to you?

JS: Of course, everyone enjoys the individual awards that they win. I’m no different, it’s a nice feeling and 2012 was a successful one for me. I still, however, would have traded them for silverware with my club and qualification with Wales. Hands down.

LB: The Netherlands, Australia, and now the US; do you planning on continuing your world travels, settling in the US, or bringing your experience back to the WSL?

JS:  Haha, yes, I have travelled a lot, I guess. Ummmmm. I’m happy where I am right now. I believe Seattle has a big future and it’s something I want to be a part of moving forward. Of course, there’s plenty of things to do and experience during my off season from September to March, which I’m sure I will. I’d never say never to a return to the WSL in the future, but right now Seattle in where I am and intend to be.

LB: The women’s European Championships are going on right now; How close do you think Wales are to qualifying for a major tournament? What does playing, and captaining, Wales mean to you?

JS: Wales are not far off from qualifying for a major tournament at all. We probably could have and should have made the play offs for the Euros last time around, but on the night we weren’t good enough and lost. I think that game still haunts a lot of us, especially the older girls as we knew how far we’d come and how close we were. Representing my country and captaining the side is a feeling I don’t believe you can put into words. It’s something you dream about doing, and every time I put the armband on it feels like the first time. It’s over whelming. I hope that we can qualify for a major tournament in my playing time. We’ll keep working on that.

You can keep up with Jessica on Twitter (@JessFishlock). You can also follow all the developments at Seattle Reign (@seattlereignfc) and in the NWSL (@NWSL) on Twitter, too. Finally, for all the information on the women’s game in Wales be sure to follow @FAW_womens.

2 thoughts on “Jessica’s Reign

  1. Pingback: Lost in Chungcheon-Do | Lost Boyos

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