Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Sophie Harris is hoping she can put in good performances over the coming matches to stake her claim for the number one shirt, as Albion prepare to face Bristol City in the FA Women’s Super League this afternoon.
Harris joined the Seagulls from London Bees in the summer, with injury and the experience of fellow shot-stopper Marie Hourihan limiting her game time, but she insists she has had no second thoughts about joining.
She said, “I have no regrets. I have had game time at other points in the season and now it’s all about building on those performances and showing that I’m suitable for a squad place going forward.
“It’s challenging and I knew that it would be coming into the season. It’s my first full season being a professional and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and it’s what I’ve worked towards for a long time, so I’ve just got to enjoy every moment of it.
“There will always be moments and times where I think ‘oh my god I’m here’, but I’ve settled in now and it’s all about working towards getting a place in the team.”
The 24-year-old was between the sticks in last week’s SSE Women’s FA Cup match against Manchester United, a week after making her league debut as a substitute against Manchester City, due to Hourihan getting injured in the build up to the Citizens’ second goal.
The goalkeeper is now looking to take her opportunity with both hands, and has praised the impact of the defence in front of her.
“It [competition for places] was always going to be that case. You never want any of your team-mates to get injured, but now I have got my chance and I just need to take each game as it comes.
“If my performance is good, that will help the team. It’s about doing the basics right and being more consistent in my performance.
“Laura [Rafferty] and Victoria [Williams] are quality players, and Fern [Whelan] is solid at the back. I really enjoy playing with her; she’s a really good leader so it gives me confidence with the likes of those playing in front of me.”
Harris then focused on the match ahead, praising the solidity of today’s hosts, but also taking confidence from the team’s preparations.
“We’re feeling positive. We’ve done a lot of work on the training ground and we’ll be looking to apply the work we’ve done there into the match this week.
“You can see by Bristol City’s results that they are a solid team, in both defence and attack. We know it’s going to be a tough game, but as long as we apply our game plan, then hopefully that will pay off and help us get a result today.”