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Hill continues to climb

We caught up with the Rovers keeper as she nears an appearance landmark

20 September 2019

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The next time Danielle Hill pulls on a Rovers shirt, it will be her 100th game for the club.

We take a trip down memory lane to relive some of her best moments from a career spanning 16 years and three spells with the Blues…

Q) Dan, you're coming up to 100 games for Rovers. How does it feel to be about to reach that landmark?

“It feels like a long time coming. I feel like I’ve done more than that to be honest! When I got told I thought it’s a great achievement and I wouldn’t want to do it anywhere else.

It couldn’t be with a nicer bunch of girls or staff so I’m looking forward to it.”

Q) You made your Rovers debut during the 2008-09 season. A lot has changed since then. Can you remember it?

“I only played the one game and then I got injured and was straight out! I remember playing against Arsenal when they were top dogs and we gave a really good account of ourselves.

It was 2-1 and I was in preparation for a World Cup and in really good shape. We did really well and I think Rovers have come a long way since then.”

Q) You’ve had three separate spells at the club. What made you keep coming back?

“The girls, the staff, Gemma’s so hard to say no to sometimes! I would never want to let anyone down or let the team suffer and at the time when I got asked to come out of retirement, we just hadn’t secured the goalkeepers that we wanted to.

I felt I could still do a job for the team and help support them into the Championship. Although it’s not a long-term solution, it’s something that I can do in the short-term to help.”

Q) You’ve enjoyed great success at Rovers, particularly in your second spell. What made it so successful in terms of winning trophies?

“We had such a random bunch of people brought together from knowing each other and once it all came together we just gelled as a team and obviously we’ve got really good staff. The one thing about Blackburn is that everyone wants to be here for the right reasons – to play football for each other.

And yes this year there is a little bit of financial gain for the girls but it’s still nowhere near other clubs. Everyone wants to do well and succeed for football reasons only.”

Q) You’ve broke Rovers’ consecutive clean sheet record during your time at the club. What did it mean to earn those individual accolades?

“It’s not just down to me. When I break clean sheet records it’s down to the team. It’s from the top down. It starts from the striker pressing the ball, through the midfield working hard and the defenders putting their bodies on the line.

I’m just sometimes the one that gets the accolade at the end of it. I made a few saves along the way and it’s nice to have that on my record but it’s absolutely not always down to me and you have to thank the team for that as well.”

Q) How long have you got left? What’s next?

"My head says I’ve still got about 10 years left in me, the body probably says a year max! I’ll just do it as long as I can for them. I don’t want to be that player that’s still here down the line and stopping other players developing.

Hopefully what I can bring this year and potentially next year and in the future is the experience that I’ve got for other goalkeepers coming through. We’ve got Fran Stenson and she’s a young goalkeeper with a lot of potential so hopefully I can help her develop with my experience and qualities and hopefully pass them on to the future generations.”

Q) We have to mention that League Cup Semi-Final against Coventry. Coming from 2-0 down to win on penalties. What was going through your head?

“I can remember falling over in the celebration! It took two good goals to get us back into the position where I could get the team out of it. Again, it’s not just me. I’m the one at the end with the penalty saves and everyone’s always going to remember that but you’ve got to look at the 90 minutes beforehand.

We were 2-0 down, we were dead and buried and no one gave us a chance and we got ourselves back into it with the last kick of the game and stuck it out throughout extra-time. It gave me an opportunity to go on and shine, make three penalty saves and get us through to the final."

Q) Despite not playing in the game, you must have great memories from the play off final against Coventry in May.

“Even though I wasn’t involved as a player, the play off final is such a special memory for me just to be involved with the team and see the absolute joy of winning it.”

Q) We’ve got Coventry in the Continental Cup on Sunday. How do you see the game going?

“Hopefully it’s a good omen to play against them for my 100th game. They are a good team; it won’t be an easy feat by any means. But with the qualities we’ve got, we need to go into Sunday with confidence.

Yes, it will be really special for me to get that 100th appearance, but it’s all about the win. We need to get ourselves on the board in the Conti Cup. For us, it’s just getting that confidence and getting that win in the bag.”

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