Fran has been one of the experienced heads in the team and has provided some important goals already this season. We had a chat to see how she feels the season has gone so far, which clubs she had featured for and which one she enjoyed the most whilst getting to know her better.
Fran Gamble has played at the higher end of women’s football before joining Harlow Ladies as she featured for Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Loughborough Foxes and Nottingham Forest (just to name a few!) but when it came to her favourite club, her beloved City were certainly up there.
“I’ve loved every club for different reasons. Being a Leicester fan though and though, that would stand out. It was an honour to wear the kit and have the opportunity to play at the King Power Stadium.”
She has been playing for the Hawks since the 2016/17 season, making 12 appearances when they played in the Essex County Women’s Football League Premier Division but her most enjoyable game for the Hawks came in 2017. “It’s possibly strange one to choose because we didn’t actually win but looking back, it would be our loss to Luton Town in the FA Women’s Cup. On the whole, the team were so inexperienced and to battle like we did and only lose in the last minute was something that everyone was proud of.”
Her toughest opponent over the years was a player currently playing the the Women’s Super League. “I used to hate playing against Kit Graham when I was at Tottenham. It always felt like whatever you did was never enough to stop her scoring.”
This season had certainly been a tough one for the Hawks. For Gamble, although she had scored some important goals, including a double against Peterborough Northern Star on the opening day of the season which pushed the club onto an opening day win, she had been side-lined for a lot of the season. “For me, this season hasn’t really got started. A couple of injuries have kept me out and just as I was starting to get back into it, lockdown hit! As a team, we are having a great run in the FA Cup. The league has been so close and I think we need to make sure we are prepared to battle every game.”
Her best friend is the team was someone she had met around 7-years ago and the friendship has blossomed every since. “It’s Sarah Walker. I first met her at Spurs when I moved to London in 2013 and we’ve been friends ever since.”
She was close to many in the squad and it was hard to choose three she enjoyed playing for. “I love this whole team and the atmosphere this year is amazing but if I had to pick a few players, it would be Chloe Bassett, Hannah Porter and Shannon Moloney.”
“Me and Chloe have played together for a few years now so we have a great understanding of each other on the pitch plus her work rate is phenomenal. I’m delighted Hannah Porter is back with us. She is a solid defender and shows so much composure on the ball. This can really help to instil confidence and settle the team and I first played with Shannon at Spurs and have always described her as someone you want on your team not against you! She does the job nobody wants to do, constantly in the oppositions face, winning the ball. Plus her one liners and comebacks on the pitch never fail to make me laugh!”
Away from football, she liked many sports, especially hitting the court whilst she is also a keen baker. “I love all sports and spend plenty of time in the gym. I used to play tennis when I was younger but stopped to play football so it’s always good to get back on the court. I’m also a big fan of watching athletics too. Away from sports, I also like to do a bit of baking.”
When it came to good shows to watch and places to holiday, she made some good suggestions. “I don’t tend to binge watch shows…I get bored too easily! But my must watch tv programmes are Bake Off and Line of Duty.”
“I want to holiday anywhere. I absolutely love travelling and make sure I have a few holidays a year. If I had to narrow it to three though it would be somewhere in the Alps to ski, somewhere in the Caribbean for some luxury and Indonesia for the culture and beach.”
And your aspirations within the game?
“I’m hoping to play and enjoy my football for as long as I can. Now I’m one of the older players I hope I can pass on my experience to the younger ones.”