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An interview with…

Katie Gibbons (Leek Town)

Leek Town have come through a tough battle in FAWNL Division One Midlands this season but it has ultimately proved to be a successful one, thanks to a good form of form with only one defeat in their last six games, finishing with an impressive 2-0 win against high riding Peterborough United.  

Katie Gibbons has been an important player for Leek this season and the winger told us that the win against Peterborough was proof that they were capable of beating the teams at the top end of the table and that, in what has proved to be a very strong division, they are setting their sights on challenging for a top half place next time around:

WSS: Congratulations on a fine result against Peterborough last  Sunday, would that go down as one of your best results of the season?

KG: It was a great win for us, especially to end the season on a good note. We just proved to ourselves we know we are good enough to beat the teams sitting within the top four of the table on our day so definitely a great win to come away with.

WSS: You took a lead into half time and got the second early in the second half, did you always feel confident of winning the game from that point?

KG: I think it was one of those games where both teams had plenty of chances throughout the game. We went 2-0 up early second half and from then on it was all about us managing the game and not letting our performance slip. Being 2-0 up at that point really helped us as a team, we came together, stuck together and saw the three points out together.

WSS: This means that you finished off the season with only one defeat in your last six matches, and that was to champions Stourbridge. Do you think there was any particular reason for the upsurge in form?

KG: For us, the last few games were really important. We knew we had to pick up points where we could and we even picked up points where we didn’t expect to. We had a few words from our manager and coaches, which I think helped inspire the team. We had a lot to prove so I think the relegation battle really did help us hit a good run of form, we all knew our ability and our ability as a team on our day can see us challenge anyone in the league.

WSS: Things had been tight in the lower end of the table for a long part of the season, but were you always confident that you would keep out of danger?

KG: I mean, the league seemed to be pretty close from bottom to mid-table. We were three points off finishing sixth so it shows how close it was. We tried not to get too carried away with ourselves, it’s alright saying on paper we can beat teams but it’s on the day that really matters. If we don’t put away our chances and we dominate the games in large spells and the opposition put away one chance, it’s a massive difference between a win and a loss. We just took each week as it came, our captain Cass was great with the girls on the day, it’s so easy to get consumed with the occasion and us knowing we needed the points. She spoke to us before the game and just made sure everyone kept calm and we didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves.

WSS: As you said, in the end you sit just three points away from finishing in the top half of the table, so how do you feel the season has gone overall?

KG: This season, I don’t think it was our best, I mean last year we finished fifth and that was our first season competing [at this level]. It just goes to show that in this league, you really can’t afford to have a dip in form because three points come the end of the season is a big difference between staying up or going down. The main thing was we stayed up and we can now work to strengthen ourselves through pre-season.

WSS: The division has looked to be a very strong one this season, do you think the standard has been higher this time around?

KG: Yes, the quality of players and teams this season almost feels like a step up from last year which is good, it’s nice to have a challenge. I know this season the likes of Notts County has been promoted so I’m sure next season will be even more challenging.

WSS: Are there any players who have had good seasons for the club, maybe not getting the recognition they deserve?

KG: We’ve had a lot of our younger players playing this year, the likes of Alanya, Lucy and Chloe have been great for us. They stepped up when we needed them to and they just continued to improve each game. Lucy’s gone over to America now so Peterborough was her last game for us. I would definitely say these three were the players for me that deserved some more recognition.

WSS: So are you confident that Leek Town can use the experiences of this season and do well in the league next year?

KG: Without a doubt, we’re all enjoying a well earned break now and will be ready to begin again in the next month or so. For us it’s about attracting more players in during pre-season and making sure that as a team our unit is solid during every game, we certainly want to prove what we are about next year and hopefully sit in the top half of the table like we did in our first season.

Our thanks to Katie!      

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