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Club News

GIBBONS: A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY

8 July 2018

Geoff Penn
Fliss Gibbons and Jenna Legg

Brighton & Hove Albion women’s first-team forward Fliss Gibbons says the chance to become a full-time professional with the club was too good to turn down.
 
Gibbons left her job as a PE teacher in order to join the Seagulls on a full-time basis, and admits it was something she never thought would be possible as a child.
 
She said, “It hasn’t sunk in yet to be honest and it’s really exciting. We all worked really hard last season and I was balancing quite a lot with work and football, so it’s nice that all the hard work has paid off.
 
“I was teaching PE and it was hard to leave because I was in a really fortunate position where I loved my job and my headteacher was very supportive.
 
“She understood that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I know if it doesn’t work out in football, I can go back there.
 
“People ask, ‘is it a dream?’ I would say, ‘not really’ because there was never really an option for me to become professional. It was only in the last few years that it’s really become an option for all of us. It’s really exciting and I am really looking forward to it.”
 
The 23-year-old now cannot wait to test herself against the very best and highlighted the need for mental strength in the upcoming campaign.
 
“We will be testing ourselves against some of the best players, not just in England, but Europe.
 
“It’s going to be a test every single week; the club is going to ask a lot of us, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and we’re going to have to give it 100 per cent every week.
 
“We’re going to concede goals and lose games. We’ll be underdogs most of the time, it’s not always going to be plain sailing, and it’s about how you pick yourself up and go forward.
 
“As a group, that happened a few times last season where we had to pick ourselves up and go again.”
 
The jump to the top flight also represents quite a journey for Gibbons, who was plying her trade with Gillingham much lower down the pyramid just 18 months ago.
 
“For the club, it’s the first time we've ever been in the top league and the first time we've had a professional women’s set up. For me, as an individual, 18 months ago I was playing in the fourth tier and now I’m playing in the top one.
 
“I’ve had to pinch myself a few times, so I feel very grateful and I want to make the most of that opportunity.”
 


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