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Up Close: Seattle Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock

(Credit Jane Gershovich)

In a span of 7 days, Seattle Reign and Welsh international midfielder Jess Fishlock will compete in two massively important games for club and country. The first, and arguably the most definitive of her international career to date, will take place on Friday, August 31 when Wales hosts England with a trip to the 2019 Women’s World Cup on the line. For a country that’s never before qualified for a major international tournament, the 31-year old says that helping lead her nation to qualification would be the “biggest and best accomplishment in my life.” One week later, the Cardiff native will return to the Pacific Northwest to battle the Portland Thorns in the 2018 NWSL regular season finale for both clubs that will determine which team will host the no. 2 vs. no. 3 semifinal in the playoffs. I spoke to Fishlock about her journey in the sport – from where she started to where she is today – and one thing that’s certain over this 7-day span, the true passion she wears on her sleeve for this game, for her teammates and for her country and the masterful way in which she plays this game will be on full display.

Hannah Kronick: To start us off, when and how did you first start playing the game?

Jess Fishlock: I actually started playing pretty early. I was obviously very sporty as a kid and I was one of six children so I always grew up playing sports with my siblings. Getting into football started off with my sister who wanted to go to a soccer camp and of course I didn’t want to go to it, but when it’s the summer holidays and you’re one of six kids, then your mother tends to put you down for the same thing since that’s a lot easier for her. And because I was the youngest at that point, I was going to a soccer camp with my older sister. It’s a funny story because it turns out that I ended up loving it.

HK: When did you realize that this was something you were really good at and something you were going to really pursue?

JF: I think when I was around 15. I think that’s when I realized that this was what I wanted to do and the decisions and choices that I made going forward would be for that reason…

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