After 5 seasons at The Saffrons with Town, Flick has decided to hang up her boots for good.
I joined Town ahead of the 2015/16 season having previously retired from league football at the end of 2006/7 season, whilst playing for Horley Town Ladies who were in the Premier division of the old South East Counties League.
My ‘career’ in league football started in the 1994/5 season, aged 16 when I joined Epsom & Ewell Ladies (formerly Reigate Ladies, then latterly became Leatherhead Ladies, Redhill Ladies and finally Horley Town Ladies).
I moved to Crawley Oakwood Ladies in the 1997/98 season and narrowly missed out on promotion to the Southern Combination league, losing in the playoffs away to Rushden & Diamonds. During this time I also trained with Town mid-week whilst living in Eastbourne, attending Brighton Uni, studying for my Sports Science degree (1996-1999).
Having had trials for the British University team and being part of their training squad in my third year at Uni, after I graduated, I was invited along to trials at Premier League outfit Croydon Ladies. I was successful and during the 1999/2000 season got to train alongside legendary players such as Hope Powell, Pauline Cope and player/manager Debbie Bampton. I picked up a knee injury early on which kept me out for most of the season and had to watch from the sidelines as we almost achieved the treble! Arsenal got the better of us in the League Cup Final held at Underhill, but we went on to secure the League and Cup double – retaining our Premier League title and then beating Doncaster Belles in the FA Cup final, held at Brammall Lane and with the trophy presented by Kevin Keegan! It was an amazing experience but gutting to not be a full part of it.
Ahead of the 2000/01 season, Croydon was bought out/taken over by Charlton Athletic, retaining our Premier League status but providing us with much needed financial support, full kit sponsorship and covering travel costs. Never went as far as being paid to play, but at least playing didn’t cost us anything personally anymore. I was part of the squad that played Arsenal in the Community Shield at Craven Cottage – the game was a draw, so we all got a winner’s medal (mine is in the loft somewhere!)
I moved to Brighton & Hove Albion ladies at the beginning of the 2001/2 season, after they were promoted to the Premier League and was there for two seasons, before taking the decision to step down to regional league level again. Re-joining my original club (Epsom & Ewell) for the 2003/4 season who were at that time playing under the banner of Redhill Ladies (then becoming Horley Town Ladies) in the Premier division of the South East Counties league. Over the course of the next 4 seasons, we challenged for the league, narrowly lost a couple of League Cup and Chairmans Cup finals and I was also a key member of the League Rep squad, which gave us the chance to test ourselves against the best players in the other regional leagues around the country.
At the end of the 2006/7 season, we moved from Surrey down to Eastbourne and despite interest from Lewes, I decided to take a break from the game.
A break turned into retirement and it wasn’t until I watched many of my old Premier League team mates/opponents playing for England in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, that I felt inspired to start playing again. So at a veteran age of 37 my second career begun!
It’s been a rollercoaster time with Town over the last 4 seasons, but we’re a tight knit group of players and we’ve stuck to our task. My proudest moments at Town have to be winning away at
Bexhill midweek under the floodlights at the end of the 2015/16 season, to relegate them and meaning we avoided the drop ourselves. Closely followed by our best ever League finish in the 2018/19 season – some of our performances that season were unbelievable. Town spirit and a ‘never say die’ attitude meant we punched way above our weight and shocked a lot of people!
I’m sad that my final season ended prematurely and does feel a bit like unfinished business. But chasing kids half your age round the pitch starts taking its toll. So at the grand age of 42, it’s definitely time to step back and retire for good this time! I’ll look forward to gracing the Saffrons again soon, but this time from the comfort of the stands.
From the club:
Flick has been an incredible asset to the club and her experience has been invaluable both on and off the pitch. Flick has an amazing ability on the field to always look forwards, never dwelling on things that may have gone wrong but always looking to pick things up and make them better. Her commitment to fitness is incredible and her desire to help take the squad to the next level over the last 5 seasons will be greatly missed. We will also miss her appearing in the centre of mid field every so often to score a 40-yard screamer. All of us at town wish Flick the very best for her retirement and really hope to see her and the family around The Saffs.