Our senior women’s correspondent @DrewDiamondLtd spoke with Liverpool FC Women’s Fran Kitching. Read their interview as they discuss Fran’s competition to be Liverpool’s No.1, her transition since moving clubs in the summer and who she’d invite round to a fantasy dinner party…
What was it about Liverpool FC that made you want to move here and be a part of the club?
After leaving Chelsea FC Women, I felt I needed to continue to develop in a full-time environment and Liverpool FC Women was the perfect fit. I also felt it was a great opportunity to push on and aim to get more game time in WSL1.
How are you finding the challenge of fighting for the No. 1 shirt at such a recognised club?
I think I’m doing well at pushing for the shirt and putting pressure on Anke [Preuss] in training. We both push each other in training which is beneficial for us both and I think as long as I’m training to the best of my ability then the decision is in the manager’s hands and I’ve done all I can.
To date in your career, is there a certain save or line of play that sticks in your mind as one of your best?
I’d probably say since I’ve joined Liverpool, it would have to be the header I saved off Gilly Flaherty when we played West Ham which would have been the equaliser, but instead we went on to secure the three points.
What career do you think you would enjoy if you weren’t a footballer?
I always said when I was younger that I wanted to own a cake shop as I love baking!
What was it within the game that led to you become a ‘keeper?
I actually started off as a striker, but I played for a team my dad managed and we had no goalkeeper one game so I just ended up going in goal and eventually improved after a few games there.
The team seems to have gelled together really well this season. Are there any teammates in particular you’ve made a bond with and why?
Well my housemate is Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and we’ve become really close as we have a similar sense of humour and are always laughing together. I think some of the girls think we are weird as most of the time we just end up hysterically laughing at nothing! Also, Jess Clarke as we are both loud characters and northern – what a combination haha!
Do you have an icon, whether it be football or otherwise?
I don’t really have an icon, but my dad has been a massive influence in my career. He used to play semi-professional football himself so has always pushed me to go as far as I can. He always encourages me to strive for what I want but also to stay humble and remember the hard times I’ve been through as a player.
Confidence is obviously a huge part of the game – if you make an early save or contrastingly, a goal gets past you, does it outwardly affect your mindset throughout the match?
I think an early save gives me a lot of confidence as that first touch in a game is always good for confidence. Conceding an early goal is always frustrating and gives the team a big job to do to equalise and go on and win a game but for me, I try to reset my mind and continue to play as though it’s still 0-0.
You can’t let something like that play on your mind for the rest of the game as it would affect your performance for the rest of the match.
How have you settled into the club and the city of Liverpool? Is it easier being a Northern girl?
I love Liverpool as a city. We live in the city centre so its really convenient to go shopping or for a coffee with the girls. I think I’ve settled in really well here and actually can’t imagine playing anywhere else, I love all the girls and we have a great team spirit.
To finish on a light-hearted note… If you were hosting a fantasy dinner party and could invite three people – dead or alive – who would you invite over and why?
I would love to meet the Queen as she is just adorable and Beyoncé as she is a really inspirational female figure. I would also like to meet Gemma Collins from TOWIE as she would bring some entertainment to the table!