Who's Who in the W - Kate Gill

Perth Glory and Westfield Matilda striker Kate Gill is currently playing and prepping for the Women’s World Cup in Sweden. Sally Shipard caught up with her to find out how she’s going for Girls FC.

By Westfield Matilda Sally Shipard

Perth Glory and Westfield Matilda striker Kate Gill is currently playing and prepping for the Women-s World Cup in Sweden. Sally Shipard caught up with her to find out how she-s going for Girls FC …

Sally: What is the quality of football like in Sweden?

Kate: The quality of football is great. The league itself is very competitive, with any team capable of beating the other, regardless of where they are on the ladder. There are no semi finals or finals. It is simply the team that has the most points after the 22 rounds that wins the league. They then have the opportunity to play in the UEFA Champions League.

There is also the Swedish cup, which involves all the divisions in Sweden. The winner of the Swedish league (Damallsvenskan) then plays the winner of the Swedish Cup in what's known as the Swedish Supercupen.

Sally: Who are you playing for and have you had a successful season?

Kate: I am playing with Linköping, who are a very successful Swedish side. They finished third last year and won the league the year before. I joined them in time to play in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. We played Arsenal away and at home. The first game was 1-1 in London, and then we had a 2-2 draw in Sweden, which meant that they went through on the away goal rule.

I have never felt so mentally exhausted and emotionally drained after playing a game of football. It was such a great experience, but I can't describe the disappointment, especially when we were the better side. But that's football. We needed to take our chances in London and a 1-1 result wasn't enough.

The Swedish season starts in two weeks time and will break in June for the FIFA Women-s World Cup. I have a number of Swedish youth and national team players in my team, along with one Danish, two Norwegian, and one Finish player.

Sally: How does it compare to the standard of football here in Australia?

Kate: I think the style of football here is very different from at home, and that makes the standard different. The style is very direct, with not much emphasis on technical ability. They rely a lot on tactics, pressing, and balls in behind. They also tend to use the wide players a lot. The game is also very physical.

I think there are both negatives and positives in the way they play the game, and we could adapt some things to the way we play in Australia. But I also think that the way we play suits our culture. The Swedes don't handle criticism all that well, but are extremely determined and professional in everything they do. There is so much structure and order in their day-to-day lives, and this is shown in the way they approach the game.

Sally: Do you work/study while playing?

Kate: The amount that we train, the facilities we have, along with food after training, before games, training equipment getting washed, is just like being on tour all the time. This all creates a professional environment. A lot of the girls study or work. I am studying because I feel like I need to keep my brain active and to make sure that I have a job when I finish football.

Sally: How often do you train? What is a typical week like?

Kate: We get a training plan each month. A typical week involves speed and gym Monday morning, team training in the afternoon, an individual session Tuesday morning, followed by team training in the afternoon. We have team training Wednesday, speed and gym Thursday, followed by an afternoon session, and training Friday. We play Saturday and have recovery Sunday, and then it starts all over again. Slight changes will be made depending on when we have games.

Sally: How are your individual FIFA Women-s World Cup preparations going?

Kate: Being in this environment and playing competitive games every week is all in preparation for the WC. It has been really hard for me to settle this time around, given the fact that I arrived one month earlier and the weather had been really cold. It really is hard to adjust after coming from such a warm environment. Injury-wise I am fine. Fingers crossed it stays that way. I will do everything possible to make sure it does.

Sally: What do you miss about Australia?

Kate: Honestly, I miss my family and friends the most, and miss the routine that I had at home, especially the crossword in the Australian. I also miss the weather and the fact that I am not involved with the national team as much, but in the end it is all about making sure I am at my best for the World Cup and by being in Sweden I feel that gives me