Brighton & Hove Albion defender Victoria Williams has reflected on what she sees as a ‘season of growth’ ahead of the team’s final FA Women’s Super League match of the season against West Ham United this afternoon, kick-off 12.30pm.
Williams highlighted how the side learned from their mistakes from earlier in the season as a key factor in an improved run of form since Christmas, and also spoke about her own personal campaign since joining from the summer, which has seen her only miss one league match so far.
She said, “It’s been a mixed season for us. It is my first season at the club, coming into a team that I didn’t know a lot about. We were really unlucky with some of the opening results we had because we played well in some of those matches.
“It’s been a big learning curve for us as a whole and that is the main thing we can take from the season. We’ve now learned from our mistakes and our results have picked up after Christmas, so it’s been a season of growth for us.”
“Anybody who plays football wants to get minutes on the pitch and it’s been great to have been chosen to play in so many games. We’ve also been unfortunate with injuries so sometimes the squad has been stretched which has allowed me to play in a couple of different positions, so I’ve been able to help the team in different areas.”
In their previous match, Albion faced Arsenal at the Amex and played in front of an FA WSL record crowd of 5,265, and the defender spoke of her pride in playing on the day, and admitted it was a good experience for the team.
“It was a day of mixed emotions. We felt privileged to play at the Amex and we drew in a substantial crowd to watch us. We were disappointed with our performance on the pitch, but that shows how far we have come as a team.
“But it was a great way for us to celebrate the season, which has been our first in the division and there was no pressure on us for that match. We fell a bit short on the day, but the overall experience can only stand the team in good stead moving forward.
“Playing against a team like that shows us how ruthless we have to be to play against a team at the top of the league. It’s not nice to get beat, but there are lessons to take from every match whether you win, lose or draw – so we learned a lot from that day.”
The defender then looked ahead to this afternoon’s challenge against the Hammers, who were FA Cup finalists at Wembley last week, and Williams predicted an exciting match ahead.
“We’ve now achieved our target of staying in the league, but we won’t stop at that and we’ll look to see what we can achieve from this match. We will need to stay focussed. Earlier in the season it was a narrow 1-0 defeat against them, and it was probably one of our worst performances.
“People might think that the heavier defeats against the teams higher up in the table were worse, but that was a bad day at the office for us and we’ll look to put things right this weekend.
“I thought West Ham put on a good performance and shocked a lot of people. That’s what tends to happen when you’re an underdog, people may have looked at that match and thought it would be a walkover, but they played well and will be boosted by that performance.
“We’ll be motivated by our match from Arsenal though. It will be a tough game, and we’ll have to be at the top of our game which will make it an interesting and exciting match.”