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An interview with…

Hope Knight (Hull City)

It has been an excellent year for Hull City, which saw them finish last season in good form and carry that through this time around, with their win against FC United of Manchester seeing them go top of FAWNL Division One North.  

In addition to this, the Tigresses take on Wolverhampton Wanderers this Sunday in their delayed Adobe Women’s FA Cup Third Round tie, with a trip to Reading FC Women on offer for the winners.

Hull striker Hope Knight talked to us about the “amazing occasion” for the match against FC United at Craven Park Stadium, as well a difficult task against Wolves this week and what she feels will be a title challenge this season:

WSS: Well done on a great result last Sunday, how good an occasion was it for the club on the day?

HK: It was an amazing occasion. To have had a big crowd in is brilliant, but to see so many of them being young girls and boys who are genuinely excited to watch us play - to be holding up banners, creating songs for us, it made it feel very special indeed.

WSS: After a close match against FC United of Manchester in the cup the week before, did the team approach the game differently in any way?

HK: We didn't, we believed in our abilities, and just rotated through the squad a little bit. We were conscious of what they tried to do to stop us the week before, but we figured that out in the game we played and carried that through.

WSS: With Barnsley not having a game, the margin of victory took you to the top of the table, presumably that was the icing on the cake?

HK: It is, but it's all just part of the bigger picture and making sure we are there at the end of the season.

WSS: Also there was a healthy attendance for the game of 1,121, does that show the potential for women's football in the area?

HK: It really does, I think we could even have had more had it not been such a cold, snowy day. We get a great crowd every week but we are out of town, so it's nice to see what playing in Hull itself could do.  

WSS: This week it's back to the FA Cup and a home tie against Wolves in the Third Round after last Sunday’s was postponed, how much are team looking forward to the match?

HK: As a club and squad we are ready. We see games like this a great opportunity to develop ourselves, challenge ourselves and show really what we can do.

WSS: You have already claimed one scalp from the level above (Halifax), so is confidence high that the team can do it again?

HK: We know this is going to be a difficult game. Wolves are one of the strongest Tier 3 sides across the country and are  on a great run, but we believe in our plan, and in the ability of us to challenge so let's see!

WSS: This season, the financial incentives are much higher in the Cup but on a footballing note, you are potentially one win away from facing a WSL or Championship team. How big an incentive is that for you? (Hull have since been drawn away to Reading FC Women, if they win)

HK: Genuinely we look at every game as a chance to play, and compete to win. We are motivated by that, which is great.

WSS: Looking beyond Sunday, you are firmly among the title contenders after a good start to the campaign, do you feel that this can be your year?

HK: We know we have to work hard for it to be. We want to keep improving as a team, and know it'll take time and luck, but we expect of ourselves to challenge at the top, yes.

WSS: The team did well in the second half of last season, so did you feel ready to make a title challenge this time around as the season began?

HK: We've had a great 2023 in all, the group settled down after changes last summer and that's carried through into this year. We want to get some consistency out of performances now and hope that to run through the rest of the season.

WSS: In the long term, how important do you think it would be for Hull City to regain its Tier 3 status in the future?

HK: More so than for many other clubs. We have so many players at this club who are so talented, and themselves should be playing Tier 3 now, if not higher, but the biggest barrier has always been location and distance to travel to do it. To take this club up and give a platform for talented players now and in the future to compete at the highest possible level is so important.

Our thanks to Hope!      

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