“It’s what we deserve” Danielle Carlton salutes team mates as unbeaten run continues against Portsmouth

Danielle Carlton on the ball as Gills beat Portsmouth 3-0.

Danielle Carlton on the ball as Gills beat Portsmouth 3-0.

When Gillingham Ladies score, instrumental midfielder Danielle Carlton scores too.  It’s a proven fact over the past five weeks as Danielle has already collected a fine array of goals in games against Keynsham, Charlton Athletic, Tottenham Ladies and Chesham. It’s a fantastic habit to get into and we caught up with Danielle to find out how she’s enjoying the season so far.

“The way we have started this season just shows how hard everyone has worked” Carlton told us. “We’ve worked hard, not just on the pitch but off too! And we have got our rewards for it to as it’s showing in our results, and it’s what we deserve.”

DC added, “It’s always nice to score and to score in every game of the season too is pretty pleasing for me! I’ve got a target so I’m going for it – and it seems to be working!”

Carlton’s influential impact on the Gills start to the season has been hard to overlook. Playing in a more attacking role in midfield, Danielle has also successfully reverted back to left back, giving Gills Ladies manager James Marrs plenty of options. The different benefits Carlton can bring to her team is something she personally enjoys, “Mixing up is good as I get to see the game from different positions. It’s also a good learning curve for me too; I’m always learning and always wanting to weather I’m playing left back or centre mid, just to be playing right now is good so I don’t care where I’m playing as long as I am.”

Danielle added, “As long as I’m performing and happy too then I can’t complain ‘You have seen our team right’ #differentclass”

And whilst individual plaudits are appreciated by the Gills Ladies midfield maestro, Danielle is quick to point out to us that the key to the club’s fantastic start is the tight knit squad she’s part of; “We all serve a different role but when we all come together it works perfectly. From the safest hands in the league to the girls up top. We are having success because we want everything and to be a part of it is an amazing feeling!”

“Whether I’m scoring myself, setting goals up or watching the girls score, you can’t beat it! Every goal counts this season, whether we’re one up or seven; we will play till the end whistle. We didn’t score many last season so when we do now it’s like let’s go get another and another, and that’s never happened. Even for the supporters on the sideline it must be good to see too – I definitely know it’s good on the pitch!”

It’s certainly a joy for Gills Ladies fans to come down to the fortress at Chatham FC at the moment. The improvement in results is matched by the player’s high standards and expectations of on and off the pitch. The outcome is clear as Gills Ladies sit top of the league, a stark contrast to last season. Danielle told us, “Last season was a very different start. We won our first game then kind of lost our way. We were trying to do the right things but it didn’t click sometimes. It was a new way of playing and our pre-season was a very long one, but it needed to be otherwise we would not have got through the games even if we didn’t get the results we deserved.”

“So from day one of pre-season this year I think knowing we had our base fitness. It was made clear if we didn’t we would be on the roads and just running!! So that got us going because we didn’t want to (Sorry gaffer but those road runs are not my best friend 🙂 – not the best sat nav are you). It allowed us to just work on the things we needed to make better, and spending more time on things has showed massively in the games. Another major difference is how well we have all bonded. We have some new players with us this season but it feels like they have been with us for longer because the way we have all connected! Even with Fliss Gibbons #tomdaley coming in two weeks ago, she was made to feel very welcome which shows too as her performances for us have been on top form and she is getting her rewards from scoring the goals she deserves. Let’s hope we can keep her with us!”

And whilst it’s been a great start for all concerned at the club, there was one very special, personal moment for Danielle, “The goal I scored against Charlton was probably the best goal I have scored since playing football! It was not just the goal, it was the build up play from the girls and myself and the way we celebrated. If it didn’t go in I would have been gutted so I’m glad it did. Seeing both managers happy too was a good feeling and also seeing our skipper “VJ” smile was good to see, and if the fans were happy too then I’m happy.”

“It was a good feeling and topped of a good Sunday. To be honest I’m still buzzing from it now and we have played another game and I’ve scored another! I’m putting it down to the umbro boots!”

As we wrapped up our interview, Danielle added a final but very important message; “We are all behind our skip Vaj… I know you are not on the pitch but we know exactly what to do and everything you’re doing off the pitch we appreciate! We all love you and will be there until you’re back with us playing again! Speedy recovery please.”

And finally DC revealed she’s been appointed Vice- captain of Gills Ladies, “I want to say thanks for giving me the opportunity to become vice captain. It was a big boost for me and it shows for me and a lot of people how far I have come and improved not just as a player but as a person too. Cheers gaffers!”

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