Glasgow City shocked women’s football in Britain this week, with the signing of Seattle Reign and Welsh international Jess Fishlock who became the first fully professional player to sign for a Scottish club and play in the SWPL. Scotzine editor Andy Muirhead caught up with Jess before she headed north to link up with her new team mates.
AM: With the NWSL season ending at the weekend – why not take me time out ahead of the new season rather than signing for another club albeit on loan?
Jess: There is a big part of me that would love to take some time out and relax, but the reality of it is there are some big International fixtures coming up that mean a lot to me and for which I need to be at the top of my game for. I’m also wary that as soon as I have a few weeks off I quickly realise I would rather be back on the pitch playing again!
AM: It was the first season you have played in the USA, how would you describe the level of football on show there compared to the British women’s game?
Jess: There is a very consistent level of high quality in the league, and it is extremely intense. The games are played at a very high tempo, with plenty of excellent technical players and you have to be at your very best to compete. It was by far the most challenging season of my career to date.
AM: You have played in Australia, England, Holland and now the USA – why Scotland and specifically why move to Glasgow City? Why did you not return to an FA WSL club or even join club on the continent?
Jess: A lot of factors were involved in my decision to join Glasgow City. My priority is obviously my club Seattle and then the World Cup Qualifiers with Wales – which are crucial. There was some interest from Europe but I firmly believe Glasgow is an ideal place for me right now. It’s a club that provides any professional with everything it needs. They train daily, have great facilities and boast several international players so the standard remains high.
Further to that they are seeded in the CL and they sit top of their domestic table, so the club has a very positive, winning mentality which I am excited to be a part of. Being able to train daily is rare in the women’s game and wouldn’t necessarily be on offer in the WSL, and it’s nice to be (relatively!) close to home.
AM: With Glasgow City being classed as an amateur side officially, with no funds to pay a professional player’s wage – what incentive was there to play for City?
Jess: This move isn’t about money for me. It’s an opportunity for me to stay fit and hopefully in form, whilst hopefully providing some useful experience to a developing side. There is also the chance to experience another league and footballing culture, something I’ve been keen to explore thus far in my career.
AM: During the EURO 2013 qualifying campaign you have played against many of your new team mates, did the standard of competition with Scotland play a part in your decision?
Jess: You could say that. Scotland are a good side, who have improved a lot over the years and were so very close to Qualifying for the Euros. That’s not luck. I expect to see them in major tournament’s soon enough.
AM: What would you like to achieve during your time at Glasgow City?
Jess: If I can help them push through in Europe, that would be great. I hope I can add some further quality to an already highly performing team, and I have some European experience which may be of benefit. Domestically, Glasgow City are very strong so obviously I want to help maintain that also.
AM: What has the reception been like to the news of you signing for the Scottish champions?
Jess: I think the reception has been pretty positive overall. Some people are surprised but hopefully the general feeling is one of excitement. All I really know is that I am excited to join up with them and get it all started.
We would like to thank Jess for taking the time out from what has been a busy schedule to talk to us and we wish her well during her time at City.