Interview: Moneyfields’ Kim Fuller

Photo: Jon D Barker

As Moneyfields have embarked on a rise through the divisions, one player has been pivotal to that assent up the women’s football pyramid, she is Kim Fuller (nee Whitcombe). Kim has been with Moneyfields for over five years now and is the record appearance maker and goalscorer for the club. We catch up with her in the build-up to their postponed match with Abingdon United in the FA Women’s National League.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I am from Southampton and play on the left wing although I have played many other positions as well. I support Southampton and I am a House Leader and teach PE in a secondary school in West Sussex.

Who was your biggest footballing inspiration while growing up? 
Easy one! Matt Le Tissier and this was because of not only his footballing ability, but also his loyalty. I respected him hugely for turning down Tottenham where he would have earned more money and had better England prospects, but favoured staying at Southampton where he was happy but also to give something back to the club that gave him his chance. In terms of women’s football, there weren’t really many when I was growing up which is a shame, but the picture has changed hugely for the positive and if I was a young girl playing football, I would definitely have a female role model which shows how far the game has come. 

Could you tell me about your experience at youth football? 
When growing up I played for Southampton FC Centre of Excellence and also Southampton Saints. I was really lucky to have my Mum take me everywhere on a Saturday for the CoE and then again on a Sunday for Southampton Saints. A particular highlight was getting to go to Durham and play in the Nike tournament when we were U14. It was a great experience to go away with teammates and friends.

I also played for Wales U19 at 16 and that was a definite high for me! A low was when I broke my leg playing football down the road with my mates. My friend just kicked my leg and it broke. I had to learn to walk properly again but more importantly that that, I had to learn to tackle again. It took me a good 4 years to go into tackles properly because of the mental block of it. 

You hold the record for the most appearances and goals for Moneyfields Women. How proud are you of that achievement? 
This question has made me smile! I am proud of this achievement and sometimes think it is hard to believe that people care enough and are interested enough to have this stat and celebrate it. Every time I score or make an appearance, it’s another one further away from that person who will eventually catch me one day!

How does the club compare to the one that you joined so many years ago?
Wow! It’s moved on hugely, but we are in a place we have always wanted to be and have always worked towards in the club’s development. Each year we’re bringing in more and more talented players who believe in what we do as a club and where we want to go which will only continue to make us stronger.

Each season we are getting more technology involved in our games to help us get better as players and a team, whether that is pods that track our running or analysis from the analysis team, breaking down performances to show us where we can be better and improve. This is so much further forward from the club I joined. 

Photo: Paul Paxford

As we speak, you are about to take on Millwall in the Adobe Women’s FA Cup. What is your most treasured FA Cup memory? 
This is a hard one! I would say playing Chelsea when at Brighton in the Fourth Round (I think it was). We went on to lose 3-0 but kept it 0-0 for 80 minutes. All my family came to watch and it was a really proud occasion to play against some of the best players in the country. In terms of watching, it was definitely the FA Cup Final in 2003 when Saints played Arsenal in Cardiff. Even though we lost, it was amazing to witness! 

Note: Moneyfields came away 1-0 winners, securing their place in the Fourth Round draw.

Our Second Round match against Haringey Borough was the furthest stage of the competition that the team has ever reached. Did you feel any nerves before the match? 
It wasn’t nerves, but more excitement at what we could achieve but ultimately we had to treat it the same as any other game and prepare as we normally would. If you don’t, the occasion can get the better of you and it was important we didn’t let that happen. 

How did you rate Haringey’s young side and the challenge that they posed? 
They are a great team. When we returned to our half after our third goal, I asked one of their girls if they were near the top of their league and she said they were second to which I replied “thought so!” They were a good, tenacious and young team that had nothing to lose and played like it. They were well organised and pressed throughout which made it difficult. They played a formation we haven’t really come up against before but we knew that from the analysis and so planned on how to cope with it and also where we could exploit them and thankfully it worked! 

While the Women’s FA Cup prize money has increased there is still a big disparity between the men and women. Given that the FA is a non-profit organisation and they can provide equal funding for the competition, do you think that they should?
This is a really difficult one. The men’s game currently brings in more money which is always the argument but it is really important that they continue to invest in the women’s game to keep making it better and better. It is definitely moving in the right direction in terms of prize money.

What do you feel is a realistic target for the team this season? 
We want to be the best we can and we go out into each game believing we can win it. We’ve had a couple of disappointing results this season in the league but ultimately we are striving to finish as high as we can and we believe anything is within our reach. 

You May Also Like