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Training ground advice for Junior Eagles from Palace Women's No.1

12 March 2020

Lucy Gillett spent the second half of the 2018/19 Championship season on loan with Palace before making her move a permanent one from Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer.

Since joining on a permanent basis, the 'keeper has cemented her place as Dean Davenport's No.1, and with several impressive performances it is easy to see why. 

Here, the shot-stopper offers advice to our aspirational Junior Eagles wanting to make a career in the beautiful game. 

How to own the penalty area as a goalkeeper

I would say that comes from confidence. I’d advise younger players aspiring to be top goalkeepers to be confident to go and collect any ball in the penalty box. I can’t say it enough: have the confidence to go for any ball. Even if you do miss it, have the confidence to go again and collect the next ball that comes in.

It’s part of the game. If you miss it, just get on with it - that’s what your defenders are there for, to pick you up. As a goalkeeper, it’s quite a mental position so you’re not going to get everything but as long as you have the confidence, that’s one step in the right direction.

Finally, be loud so that your defenders know you’re coming out to claim anything around you.

How to get into women’s football

Coming from America, women’s football is massive over there. There were plenty of options and there are plenty of options in England, too. There are school teams, I know a lot of players I play with started off in the boys team.

Have the confidence to go and play with the boys, especially at school. And through the FA, they have a lot of women’s football training sessions and teams that are starting up so have a check in your local area through the FA website. Get into any women’s teams and sessions and go from there.

Be confident with any decision and take a friend with you so you’ve got a familiar face with you. Be confident, show that you’re willing to make mistakes in order to learn because everyone makes mistakes. Stick with your decision.

How to balance part-time football with day-to-day life

I’ve just come from being a full-time footballer so it’s an interesting transition going from training every day to now training part-time. It is about having a balance and a schedule for each week.

I think the biggest thing is to schedule in what food you’re going to be eating each week, which is quite an important part of a footballer’s lifestyle, and also when you’re going to rest.

We all know that rest is one of the key tools to recovery. I think it’s important for the girls to have that schedule each week so they know when their downtime is and when they’ll be able to recover and get their bodies back on track to go again.

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