Hillier believes Pompey Ladies are stronger than ever

Gemma Hillier. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Gemma Hillier. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

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The postponement of Sunday’s clash with Gillingham will lead to an increasingly hectic schedule for Pompey Ladies.

But striker Gemma Hillier is confident the Blues have the depth of quality in the squad to achieve success in 2015.

The team are chasing the FA Women’s Premier League southern division title and are still in the league cup and Hampshire Challenge Cup.

With the FA Women’s Cup due to start on Sunday, the Blues will head to Gillingham, weather permitting, after the postponement of the league contest between the sides last weekend.

It’s going to be the start of a busy run of matches – especially if rain causes any more games to be washed out in the coming weeks.

Hillier has been serving Pompey for 14 years as a player, since joining the youth set-up as a 13-year-old.

She believes the current first-team squad is the strongest it has ever been in her time at the club.

‘I’ve been a Pompey fan since I could walk and I started to play for the club as a 13-year-old,’ said Hillier.

‘In terms of the numbers we have and the quality, I believe this is the best squad we have ever had.

‘We’ve grown and grown as a squad and hopefully we will keep getting stronger.’

Hillier has been injured in recent weeks after picking up a knee problem.

That was after she made a flying start to the season.

But the Blues have plenty of cover for injuries in all positions and, in Hillier’s absence, Ini Umotong has been scoring regularly, alongside Charley Wilson up front.

Pompey have also covered well for injuries to key players in defence.

Last season, they came unstuck when they had to battle through a demanding run of games at the end of the season.

But Hillier is confident they will not suffer the same problem this season.

‘When called upon, players have come in and been just as good as the players who were playing,’ said Hillier.

‘In midfield, we have seven or eight players fighting for two or three spaces. We haven’t ever had that before.

‘Hopefully that will be the difference for us this season.’

Pompey Ladies’ head of youth Karl Watson has ensured there is a conveyer belt of talent coming through.

Hillier praised his excellent work to expand the youth set-up.

‘When I first joined we had a lot of players of the same age who were growing up together,’ she added.

‘Now we have a really good mix.

‘We have players in my age group, and also the 16 to 17-year-olds.

‘Karl has done wonders with the youth section.

‘We only had one team before, now we have every age group going.’