Although her grasp of geography can be brought into question, as demonstrated by Gillingham Ladies latest round of ‘On the Spot’; questions certainly can’t be asked of goalkeeper Faye Baker’s start to the season.
Sunday’s 3-0 win away at Chesham United in the League Cup saw Gillingham Ladies collect their fifth clean sheet of the season. With just nine games played so far this campaign, Faye has lead the club to break its own record for the number of clean sheets in a season.
“I’m so happy to have beaten the clubs record this early on into my Gillingham career,” Faye told us. “It really is a boost in confidence! I definitely cannot take all the credit though. Hopefully we smash the record and keep many more.”
The Gills’ start to the season has won plaudits from around Kent, with the Gills’ defensive record a clear attribute. We asked Faye if she was able to pin the Gills run of clean sheets down to anything in particular: “To be honest I think the work the manager James has done defensively since he joined Gillingham and continues to do now, is a massive factor. He encourages us in all the right ways and has built a solid backline.”
“However the team as a whole can take credit as it starts from the hard work and pressure up top, all the way through to my rocks in defence. Working with Deanna Cooper, Amy Taylor, and Rachel Ahern really is quality; they always stay calm and tend to nip any chances in the bud -rarely calling me into action! All the girls play their part though without a doubt.”
And whilst it’s a fantastic achievement, Faye makes it clear she’s not resting on her laurels and wants to create a new record that will be tough for her to break again! Faye said: “I always set myself personal goals and strive to be the best I can.”
“Previously I had never really had much goalkeeping coaching, so every training session I’m asking questions and learning something new which might be different to what I would do naturally in that situation.”
Faye added, “As long as I’m working hard and improving, I’m happy!”
Sunday’s victory helped break a record but Faye re-iterates the bigger picture of life at the club and how joining the Gills has helped her personally: “Signing for Gillingham has been an eye opener for me. I really enjoyed my time at my previous club, but felt it was the right time to take the opportunity to play in the league above.”
“Now I am here I genuinely feel that this is the club to take me to the next level as a keeper. Every training session is hard work; from road runs, ball work, strength sessions and goalkeeping training!”
“The girls give it their all and we are constantly learning new things. I’m training four times a week, playing against fantastic opposition and alongside a great bunch of girls.
“It has been strange at times as I play more as a sweeper and tend to touch the ball more with my feet. Some games I haven’t even had to make a save, but again that’s credit to the great team around me- it just takes some getting used to!”
Gillingham Ladies return back to league action this weekend as they welcome Tottenham Hotspur back to Chatham FC. Gills fans will remember the entertaining fixture a few weeks ago in the League Cup when Gillingham came away 7-2 winners. Faye tells us the squad knows it will be a very different Spurs set up this Sunday, and they’ll face a team determined to rectify such a heavy loss in the League Cup.
“Obviously it’s hard to know what to expect as we don’t know whether it will be the same squad they brought to the cup game.”
“But to be honest that doesn’t faze us at all, as long as we perform on the day and put into practice all the areas we work on in training, the other team becomes irrelevant. We take each game as it comes, but a repeat performance would be nice!”
Come and see how Faye and the girls get on against Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday. Kick-off is at 2pm at
Chatham Town FC
The Sports Ground