Gillingham Ladies defender Charlie Thurston has been announced as Vice Captain for the club for the upcoming season.
Enjoying her second spell with the team following her return from a four year spell playing in America, Thurston is looking forward to another season with Kent’s best women’s team.
The Ladies season kicks off on Sunday with the visit of Bedford Ladies and Thurston can not wait for the new FA WPL campaign to begin.
“I can’t wait for Sunday! Its a fresh start; new league, new team, new management. I’m really excited to get our season under way, we’ve got a point to prove this season, not just to other teams, but also to ourselves as well. We know we’re good enough- but now its time to prove it!”
Thurston revealed the club’s disappointment at last Sunday’s postponed fixture against Ipswich Ladies. The squad got together on Sunday morning for extra training and the anticipation for the new season has increased once more.
“Having the game postponed last Sunday, enabled us to have that extra training session that other teams wouldn’t have been able to have, so I’d like to think of it as a positive, obviously we were gutted it was postponed, but now I think more than ever, everyone is ready for Sunday against Bedford.”
It has been another pre-season full of change for Gillingham Ladies and Thurston revealed the club has been working hard on and off the pitch to ensure everything is ready for a successful season.
“I would say the changes that have been made were positive; management and player wise. For the girls that were here last year it has given us the drive to compete for positions, last season we struggled for players, so its made training a lot more competitive. Darren and Jack are working tirelessly to make us a better team on and off the field.”
Thurston added, “Pre season has lasted forever!!!! We’ve been going for about six to eight weeks now, playing games every Wednesday and every Sunday, so its been tiring, but we all know its for our benefit so its been good.”
“Everybody has put in the hours and we’ve definitely seen each other more than we’ve seen our family and friends. Its nice to be a part of a team who has bonded, even if our whatsapp group constantly runs my battery down!”
“The dressing room is great, everybody is raring to go- its been a long time coming!”
Thurston was handed club vice-captaincy during the off season and told us upon hearing the news;
“I was quite shocked actually, but really happy and really grateful to be given the opportunity. I was at Gills six/seven years ago,before leaving for America, and as soon as I come back I got in touch with Loz and made my way back to Gills again. I’m 110% happy with my decision to stay at Gills and there is nothing I want more than to fight for promotion in a blue shirt.”
Thurston believes Sunday’s game against Bedford will offer football fans a chance to see how the team has developed during the close season. The first competitive Gills fixture after England’s triumph at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, and she hopes there will be plenty of people coming to check their local women’s team out.
” First of all to anyone contemplating a little trip to Chatham Town on Sunday, I would ask that you do come; give us an opportunity to show you how far we’ve come since last season. We’ve worked so hard, individually and as a team, I feel we’ve made some big changes in and around the team, and those changes have been nothing but positive.”
Thurston also added, “I would like to say a big thank to the fans actually, we’ve had quite a few people at our pre season games and its nice to have constant support. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to those at Gillingham FC who are again allowing us the opportunity to be a part of such a huge club.”
If you’d like to show your support for Gillingham Ladies by purchasing a season ticket for just £25, you can buy online today by clicking here.
Gillingham Ladies’ game against Bedford on Sunday 23rd August takes place at Chatham Town FC with a 2pm kick off. Tickets cost £3 for adults and under 16s can enjoy free entry.