Courteney's thoughts on her 1st team debut and stepping up to senior football
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:09PM UTC, Saturday, 29 October 2011
Courteney Gibson was pleased with her first team debut for the Charlton Women’s team as they defeated Nottingham Forest 3-0 on Sunday.
Sixteen-year-old Gibson was handed her first start by technical director Paul Mortimer against last year’s Premier League runners-up and took her chance with both hands.
She impressed on the right-wing, bagging an assist for the first goal and combining well with PHSC plc Player of the Match Sinead Boyer.
Speaking after the game, Courteney said: “I was surprised [to have been picked] but at the same time I was really happy, excited, and obviously nervous.
“I felt the pressure was off a little but in your first game you want to do really well. Everyone made me feel really relaxed and just told me to play how I play.
“It is a lot quicker and a lot more physical than even the reserves so I had to adjust a bit but thought I did OK. The girls were very supportive and really helpful which was great.
“It is weird to think a few months ago I was still playing under 16 football. It has all happened so quickly but I am loving every minute of it.”
It was an impressive attacking performance from the Addicks, as Courteney worked well with fellow attackers Fliss Gibbons and Gemma Bryan.
Current Player of the Year Gibbons stormed onto the scene as a sixteen-year-old last season and Gibson revealed she hopes to emulate her rise to the top, having roomed with her on England duty.
“They are brilliant players so it is good to play with girls that are of a really high standard. Hopefully it will help to improve my game as well,” she added.
“I take a lot of inspiration from Fliss. We watched her last year work very quickly into the first team and that is what we all have aspirations to do. To be following in her footsteps is a great thing.”
It is turning into a good year for Courteney, as she has also gained international recognition with call ups for the England under 19 side, something she feels has benefitted her already.
“That was a really good experience. Again, the girls there are of a really good standard and I was really pleased I was picked to go.
“Playing first team will really help. As quick as first team football is, England is even quicker and more physical so hopefully this experience will help me.”