Pompey manager Jay Sadler has lauded the achievements of club ‘legend’ Gemma Hillier – as he prepares his troops to face Gillingham at Westleigh Park today (2pm).
The forward made her 250th appearance for the Blues in last Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Women’s Premier League southern division.
And Sadler has praised her commitment, while light-heartedly suggesting she could have marked the day with a hat-trick.
The Pompey boss said: ‘She epitomises the word legend for a player at this club.
‘250 appearances for any club is superb.
‘Her work-rate, desire and passion – she knows exactly what that badge means – and to have her around the club again this season is brilliant.
‘It’s been a delight to work with her. She’s a great player.
‘She probably should have scored a hat-trick on Sunday! But she knows that, she’s a professional.’
For Sadler, the lack of killer instinct was a decisive factor in their loss to the Eagles.
He added: ‘We dominated possession and got the ball in and around the areas but we just didn’t finish.
‘We made the keeper look good and we should have had four or five goals.
‘We’ve got to reflect and learn to kill teams off.
‘But it is a process and to reflect from where we were this time last season to where we are now, we’ve come on leaps.’
On the day Hillier made her 250th appearance, Carla Perkins and Robyn Levett made their debuts.
The latter was Sadler’s pick of the players after a string of fine saves.
– LLOYD OUGHTON