Gibbons: Hope turned me into a left-back

Fliss Gibbons says she is relishing the start of the new FA Women’s Super League season and explained how Hope Powell has successfully converted her to a left-back.

By James Hilsum • 22 August 2019

By Kieran Cleeves
Fliss Gibbons

Gibbons has plied her trade as a forward in the past for the Seagulls, but believes she has now made the position her own after putting in number of impressive performances there during the last campaign.

She said, “I’m really looking forward to it, but we’re aware that it’s probably going to be more difficult than last season.

“Last year I started to establish myself as a left-back and I thought I started to understand the role well, especially towards the end of the season. I felt like I was contributing much more and I just want to keep improving and learning in the position.

“I want to get higher up the pitch and contribute attacking wise rather than just defensively. I’ve got a couple of assists and a goal last season, but I want to add more of those to my game, whether that’s scoring or helping others to do so.

“This position still gives me those opportunities to go forward, and I like playing in defence because I can see the whole pitch. I have played behind some very experienced players on our team, so I’ve learned lots from being in that position. I don’t miss it, I like defending and Hope might be surprised to hear that. She’s turned me into a left-back now!”

By Kieran Cleeves
Fliss Gibbons

With the majority of the squad now having a season of FAWSL football already under their belts, the defender feels they have now adjusted to becoming professional footballers and highlighted how lessons can be learned from a difficult first half of last season.

“We’ve got fitter and stronger, but we’ve raised our standards now and want to kick on in this league. We were unlucky with a few results and there were a few games where we should’ve got some more points. The standards have got higher, but we’re focusing on each game as we can.

“It took time for a lot of us to settle into a professional environment last season, but our standards have got higher and we’re feeling confident.”

By Kieran Cleeves
Fliss Gibbons

Albion’s FAWSL opener takes place against Bristol City at Ashton Gate Stadium, and Gibbons is delighted that more clubs are opening up their main grounds to their respective women’s teams.

“It’s a great fixture to start with and it’s brilliant that more and more games are being played at men’s stadia. It says a lot about how inclusion and equality across football is improving at a number of different clubs.

“It’s going to be a brilliant occasion, but ultimately we want to go there and get a result.”

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