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Lucy Fitzgerald: The newest member of the 50 appearances club

Last Sunday marked another milestone for the London City Lionesses, as Lucy Fitzgerald became the second player at the club to reach 50 appearances.

I started by asking Fitzgerald just how it felt to have reached that milestone:

“It really means a lot,” she said, “to have been here from the start, since that first game, I think it's quite special and to be only the second player to get there, I think it's quite a special thing for me and my family.

“As a child, if you'd said I’d go on to make 50 appearances as a professional footballer, I'd have bit your hand off!”

For Fitzgerald, her journey with the Lionesses started back in the summer of 2019, making her debut for the club against the London Bee’s, with City coming away with a 2-0 win.

“Thinking back to that day, I remember just being so excited,” said Fitzgerald, “we just wanted to get that first win and put in a really good performance.

“And it was made all the more special by getting that assist for Grace’s [Neville] goal, so it was definitely a day I won’t be forgetting any time soon.”

Many more memorable results were to follow, and for Fitzgerald, looking back, she’s well aware just how much she’s changed since those early few games.

“When I think back to myself before that first game, as a person I think I was more nervous and quiet, and I think being at the club has really allowed me to come out of my shell and develop my confidence off the pitch as well as on it, and some of the friends and relationships I’ve had at the club have played a big part in that.”

But who among the people at Princes Park stand out for Fitzgerald, as the ones who’ve helped shape her time at the club?

“Among the players, Harley [Bennett] certainly jumps to mind,” said Fitzgerald, “I think of her leadership and the support she's given me, and she deserved to be the first person to get 50 caps.

“She’s the kind of person that puts an arm around every single player, no matter who you are, she's just a really good captain. Also Lily [Agg] as well- both of them have really helped me develop my confidence and develop as a player.

“Also, I can’t thank Melissa [Phillips] enough for all the faith she’s put in me and how much she’s helped me develop my game and help me improve as a player.”

And what about her favourite memories from her time at London City?

“Well once again my mind goes back to that first game, because that was just such a special day for everyone,” said Fitzgerald.

“But really this whole season and playing with this team has just been so great, and we’ve all made so many amazing memories, that for me, the whole season just stands out as being special.”

Going forward though, it's clear that Fitzgerald is determined to keep on making a difference in a London City shirt.

“I just want to play as many games as I can,” she said, “I just love being on the pitch and I just want to enjoy it and just keep developing and improving every single day.”

Finally, I asked Fitzgerald what advice she would give to that young player who stepped out onto the pitch in a London City shirt for the first time.

“I'd probably just say, enjoy every moment of it and just be confident in yourself, because back then I was so young and didn’t play with as much freedom as I do now, so I’d tell myself to enjoy it as much as you can.”

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