Jess Fishlock – It’s crunch time

Gearing up for the big game: Photo Glasgowcityladies.co.uk

Gearing up for the big game: Photo Glasgowcityladies.co.uk

So today we have a massive game against Standard Liege, and it was the Champions League that really attracted me to Glasgow City, so I cannot wait for kick-off. I won’t lie, adjusting to life in Scotland has been tough, not because its not a nice place or club, but because I came back from Seattle so tired. From a personal perspective, the season out in America was a successful one and I cant wait to go back at the start of next year, but I came back both physically and mentally exhausted because the game out there is so intense. It is hard when you go from a team that you have been with for eight months and you know each other so well, which was the case in Seattle, to coming into a team who have been together for a long time and have everything in place, like Glasgow do – so it was tough at the start. But I am in a better frame of mind now, especially when I play at international level, but physically I feel good and I feel I have a bit of an edge because of my time out in America, so I hope that explosive side I have added to my game will benefit both Glasgow and Wales.

 Photo by Winnie Ho.

Photo by Winnie Ho.

We have good players at Glasgow, which is good for me, because it makes it enjoyable when you play with players at a certain level – it makes training competitive and you can then take that into matches. I’m really excited about the games against Liege, especially as I haven’t been involved for a few years in the Champions League, which in my opinion is one of the best competitions in the world. We’ve got a good draw, but that doesn’t mean I’m saying it’s going to be easy. It’s not a Lyon or a Wolfsburg, so we have to go into the games thinking we can win them. I get posed the question about the potential of playing Arsenal in the last 16, but while it sounds very cliché, we’re only focused on the tie with Liege. It will be a great game if it occurs and I have no doubt there will be a media frenzy if it happens, but we don’t want to think ahead too far and Arsenal is not our focus. I’m really pleased with the situation that I’m in at the moment for both club and country, especially with the Champions League games with Glasgow and of course, the game against England at the end of the month with Wales. There’s been a lot of talk about it up to now and we’ve tried not to think about it because we had to play Belarus first and focus on winning that game, which I’m delighted we were able to do. photo England are the top seeds, very experienced and we are not on the same level as them – we could well be under pressure, but that’s ok. We’re going to prepare like we normally do, and the great thing is we know the England girls as many of our girls play against them week in, week out. To lead us out in a game where we could cause an upset, I am really excited for that, but it’s important we treat it like any other game. But for the moment, my focus is on Glasgow and our Champions League games, so fingers crossed we are celebrating once the second leg is complete.

OK, so finally that win!

Hi I’m Seattle Reign’s Jess Fishlock and welcome to my blog!

Photo by Winnie Ho

Jess has taken to life in Seattle like a duck to water. Photo by Winnie Ho.

There’s no denying and it’s certainly no secret that Seattle had a tough start to the first NWSL season, where a win just looked like it was not meant to happen.

Then BAM!

In a game which we probably weren’t at our best, we turned a potential 1-0 loss into a 2-1 win over the Boston Breakers and have been unbeaten since. The relief for everyone was huge, we knew we just needed the first win to happen and we could build on it.

We felt we were good enough over our last few games, especially against WNYF but couldn’t hold the lead. I’m actually unsure what exactly clicked that night for us. It may have even just been a bit of luck mixed with a goal of pure quality from Christine Nairn to take the win.

Nine straight defeats brought its frustrations. Photo by Winnie Ho.

Nine straight defeats brought its frustrations. Photo by Winnie Ho.

For me, to come off a nine-game losing streak then win a game by coming back from a goal down, after travelling the east coast basically just sums our squad up. Our mental toughness and belief in what we have been doing from day one is something I think we can be proud of. Many teams would have combusted, fought, blamed each other.

We didn’t. We didn’t change much – if at all anything. We simply turned up, kept working hard in order to turn it around. I think that was and still is our motivation. We have great people from top to bottom. From the owners and coach right through the club, we want to be successful for each other.

The important thing is that we’ve kept it up and are unbeaten in four – the win would not have meant anything if we had not kept momentum. We have a lot of characters in the team – leaders – from all over. There’s Kaylyn, Emz, myself, Keelin, Pinoe, Hope – so many big voices in the team.

Hope Solo has been a big influence since returning from injury. Photo by Winnie Ho.

Hope Solo has been a big influence since returning from injury. Photo by Winnie Ho.

Training is pretty intense – none of us like to lose and we expect high quality. Nine times out of 10 it’s there but if it isn’t for whatever reason (we are human after all) we can just give each other a little reality check (nicely of course!) and bring it back up to where it should be.

Playing and training with these types of professionals and internationals is brilliant, and I learn a lot from them all. However, there’s no denying that training on a daily basis with Hope and Megan is just unreal. They are both incredible at what they do, and I love playing with Pinoe. Technically she is brilliant and tactically she is so aware – it’s just easy.

Hope is, well, Hope! The saves she has made already…I’m unsure how she’s even made them! On top of that, they are so nice, really down to earth and good people. Which is so good. All we need is for Pinoe to change her hair (yea right!) and spectators may have an easier viewing …

That’s not going to happen though so, for all those who can’t see from a distance, Meg’s a good inch or two taller than me. Just saying…!