Burnley FC Women defender, Sammy Fleck, spoke to Women’s Soccer Scene magazine recently to give her thoughts on Burnley FC Women’s recent form and looks to the games ahead.
You’ve had a run of clean sheets over the course of the season, has the defence and goalkeeper been the rock on which the team has been built?
Although being in the back four, I’d love to take some credit – and yes, I guess sometimes it does come down to individual defensive one on ones and our keeper, Lauren, has pulled off some quality saves. However, the defensive structure that we have, and the work rate from every player is something that is instilled into us week after week by our manager and coaches. It is something that every player believes in and as a team we pride ourselves on, and from the striker through to the goalkeeper we know our defensive roles and that we have to be effective in all areas of the pitch to get a result and clean sheet in each game.
This of course is your first season in the National League. What were your aims at the start of the season, could you ever have envisaged how well you have done?
Definitely not, we knew coming up to the National League was going to be a massive test for us as a team – and others in the league probably thought we were favourites for relegation. We have always had a sense of self belief within the team and we always go into every game believing in ourselves and believing that we can get a good result. But if you asked any of us at the start of the season where we thought we would be at this stage – I don’t think anyone would have said top of the league!
Out of all the teams below you in the table, which you do feel is/are the most likely to chase you hardest until the end of the season?
The table isn’t really reflective with games in hand, of the positions everyone is in. Therefore, it’s hard to say. There are a lot of teams grouped together, and this is a tough league where the scores can go either way in any game as we have seen in recent weeks. This weekend is our main focus now and we are concentrating on getting a result there.
If you can keep going all the way and win the title, how big an achievement do you think it would be at the first attempt? And how far do you think the club can potentially go in the future?
It would be amazing if we could do that! And also, very unexpected. We aren’t getting ahead of ourselves though and we are trying to take each week one game at a time. We know every team that we play in this league is a tough test and we need to perform and keep on the right side of the results in every game from now until the end of the season to achieve anything.
The club has come so far over the last couple of years, and you can see the work that our manager and the rest of the backroom staff are putting in behind the scenes to further develop the club and make the women’s section grow. The better we do as a team on the pitch, hopefully the more interest we will get, and it can only be positive and push the club further in the right direction. It’s exciting to think where Burnley FC Women can get to in the future, but there is a long way to go yet!