She trained with her new team for the first time at last month’s open training session at the Amex, and the defender highlighted how she wants to improve herself as a player under Hope Powell’s guidance.
She said, “I’m settling in really well. The girls are really nice and the team have been great in welcoming me in and so far, I’ve really been enjoying my time here.
“You want to improve yourself as a player and I think I am in the right place to do that. I had some time and space to work on myself, along with the other girls and the staff. As a defender I really want to improve my defensive techniques, but I also want to get on the ball and find the little gaps and passes for my team-mates. I think I’m in the right position here to get the opportunity to do that.
“It’s also amazing that my first day was at the Amex with a lot of fans watching on. It’s a really nice stadium, so hopefully we’ll be able to play there once the season starts.”
After a shorter summer break than most after her involvement in the World Cup with the Netherlands, Kerkdijk praised the welcoming atmosphere of the squad after her first few weeks at the club.
“It was a short holiday for me but if you win a silver medal that doesn’t matter. I had some time at home to see the family, and of course, it was sad to leave them after a short time, but I’m sure I can see them again soon.
“The togetherness is a very strong attribute of the team. The girls are really close to each other and it has been really nice for me to come into that. It feels like everyone wants to fight for one other, and that will be a big factor that we can use to our advantage over other teams.
“We are putting pressure on themselves ahead of the season to do well, and we will fight to finish as high as we can in the league.”
Albion take on Kerkdijk’s former club Bristol City in the opening Barclays FA Women’s Super League game of the season at Ashton Gate on 7th September, and the Dutch defender was full of praise for the club she departed.
“I had some really good years in Bristol. It was the first time I moved out of my house and moved abroad to another country. It wasn’t easy to go away and play in another country, but if you want to it’s a test that you need to put yourself through if you want to improve as a player.
“It was a place where they did a lot of good things for me, but after two years I was ready to move on. I was lucky that I could stay in the same country with Brighton as I’m now used to the league. It’s still quite hard, but the girls have the same goals and will always help you.
“It will be weird to play against them, but it will be a good battle!”