FC United Women forward Jess Battle became the latest player to score 100 goals for the club after netting in last weekend’s Argyle Cup quarter-final win against Penrith.
Battle brought up the milestone in just 56 FCUMW games and when speaking to us for this week’s feature interview, the striker insisted that she’s hoping to push on and add more to her tally before the season’s close.
She said: “I feel really happy to have reached 100 goals [for the club]. The 100th took a bit longer than I had hoped for so when I got it, I felt relieved. Hopefully I’ll be able get a few more as well before the season draws to an end!”
The forward has racked up several memorable strikes in reaching the century mark but does have a particular favourite from her two-and-a-half seasons at Broadhurst Park.
“My favourite would be definitely the half volley in the Argyle Cup final last season, to make it 2-1 and to go in winning at half-time. Stockport is my old club as well, so they are always good ones to get.”
United’s number nine was picked out for the landmark effort by teammate Aimee O’Keeffe, just one of several goals the pair have combined for over the last few games.
“It’s been really good to have some support up-front recently. Most of the time I’ve played up there on my own so it’s good to have Aimee [O’Keeffe] up there especially with her strength. She’s been on top goal-scoring form for the team herself which helps our goal difference a lot.”
The pair have been a key partnership in a run which sees United remain unbeaten so far since the turn of the year. Battle has been delighted with the team’s form in recent months.
“2019 has been a bit of a funny one with a few cancelled games due to the weather but we’re now back to winning ways and getting games under our belts. It’s great for our confidence as a team going into these next two massive games.”
The next week is a big one for the Reds with the Argyle Cup semi-final at home tomorrow, against Merseyrail Ladies, before a first game under the lights of the season, as league leaders Stockport County visit Broadhurst Park on Wednesday night. Despite that, Battle insists the Reds’ are looking no further than the next game.
“It’s massively important not to look too far ahead and just focus on each game as it comes. Obviously, we’ve got a big game in midweek but Luke [Podmore] made sure our focus was solely on Merseyrail in our training session on Wednesday - the team know that.”
United will return to the Broadhurst Park stadium for the first time in 2019 on Sunday. It’s a factor that Battle knows can benefit the Reds’ overall game.
“It’s so important and beneficial to us that we are back in the stadium. The facilities are amazing - playing on a pitch like that is every player’s dream. It also helps with the style of football we play; the stadium definitely brings out the best in us.”
Battle & co are hoping to book their place in a third successive Argyle Cup final tomorrow and the forward says that the Reds will only be focusing on their game and simply getting the job done.
“Concentration and focus will definitely play a part in tomorrow’s game. We just need to let our football do the talking and I think we will be fine. We beat them in the stadium 4-1 last time, so we go into the game with massive confidence. We know we can beat them, we just need to concentrate and do our job on the day.”
You can see Jess Battle and her FCUMW teammates take on Merseyrail Ladies in tomorrow’s (7 April) Argyle Cup semi-final at Broadhurst Park - 2pm kick-off.
We hope to see you there!
By Mikey Partington