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Jess Fishlock

Jess Fishlock
2019-05-18 Fußball, Frauen, UEFA Women's Champions League, Olympique Lyonnais - FC Barcelona StP 0134 LR10 by Stepro.jpg
Personal information
Full name Jessica Anne Fishlock[1]
Date of birth (1987-01-14) 14 January 1987 (age 34)[2]
Place of birth Cardiff, Wales
Height 1.58 m (5 ft 2 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
OL Reign
Number 10
Youth career
Cardiff City
Newport Strikers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2007 [3][4] Cardiff City
2007–2008 Bristol Academy
2008–2010 AZ 31 (6)
2011–2012 Bristol Academy 26 (7)
2012–2013 Melbourne Victory 18 (5)
2013– OL Reign 99 (24)
2013Glasgow City (loan) 6 (2)
2013–2014Melbourne Victory (loan) 17 (5)
2014–2015FFC Frankfurt (loan) 17 (2)
2015–2018Melbourne City (loan) 38 (17)
2018–2019Olympique Lyonnais (loan) 12 (1)
2020–2021Reading (loan) 19 (2)
National team
Wales U-19
2006– Wales[5] 118 (31)
Teams managed
2012 Cardiff City Ladies (player-coach)
2015–2016 Melbourne City (player-assistant coach)
2017 Melbourne City (player-head coach)
2017–2018 Melbourne City (player-assistant coach)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 March 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 April 2021

Jessica Anne Fishlock, MBE (born 14 January 1987)[2] is a Welsh professional footballer and coach who plays as a midfielder for OL Reign and the Wales national team.[6][7] She previously played for Bristol Academy in England's FA Women's Super League (FA WSL), AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie, Glasgow City in the Scottish Women's Premier League, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City in Australia's W-League, as well as Bundesliga club FFC Frankfurt in Germany.

In February 2017, Fishlock coached Melbourne City to its second consecutive W-League Grand Final title.[8] She previously coached Cardiff City L.F.C.[9]

On 5 April 2017, Fishlock became the first Welsh player to earn 100 caps for the national team.[10] She was named Welsh Footballer of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2019. She has won multiple championships and regular season titles with the teams she has played for including the two consecutive Eredivisie championships, two W-League regular season titles, two W-League Grand Final championships, Scottish Women's Premier League and Scottish Women's Cup titles, and two consecutive NWSL Shield wins. Although Fishlock returned to Seattle prior to the 2015 UEFA Women's Champions League Final after playing on loan for FFC Frankfurt, her contributions to the team's journey to the title subsequently earned her a UEFA Women's Champions League medal.

Early life

Fishlock was born in Cardiff, Wales to Kevyn and Sharon Fishlock. She has two brothers and three sisters.[9] As a child, she began playing football with her sister[11] before joining Cardiff City L.F.C. at age 7.[3] She later played for Newport Strikers.[3]

Club career

Cardiff City LFC, 2002–2005

Fishlock started her career playing for Cardiff City L.F.C. and made her debut for the senior side at age 16.[12] Fishlock made her made her debut against Reading Royals on 29 September 2002 and scored 19 times in 23 appearances in her first season at the club.[3] Laura McAllister, who was captain of Cardiff City when Fishlock joined the squad said, "Jess joined the junior team but she was so good we fast-tracked her. Jess is just a fabulous player. She is technically superb with fabulous skills and among the 2 or 3% in Britain. She's ambitious and adventurous and to be a top, top sports-player you've got to be like that."[13] At age 16, she was a member of the senior side that won the 2004–05 SW Combination League Championship without losing a point. The team later beat Everton en route to the last eight of the FA Cup and won the Welsh Cup to move on to the UEFA Women's Cup.[9][14]

As of February 2013, Fishlock remains the club's record goalscorer.[15]

AZ Alkmaar, 2008–2010

Fishlock playing for Dutch club, AZ Alkmaar, May 2010

In 2008, the Dutch Champions AZ Alkmaar approached Jess to join them and become the first overseas player in the Eredivisie. Jess won back to back league titles during the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 seasons, and were on track to defend a third title during the 2010/2011 season when she left to come back to the UK.[16][17][18]

Bristol Academy WFC, 2011–2012

In 2011, Fishlock joined Bristol in England's FA Women's Super League (FA WSL).[12] During the 2011 season, Bristol achieved a higher-than-expected final league position, and also reached the FA Cup Final where they were defeated by Arsenal 2–0.[19] Fishlock was awarded the 2011 Club Player of the Year, 2011 Fans Player of the Year, and was named to the league's All-Star Team. She was named Welsh Women's Footballer of the Year the same year.[20]

During the 2012 season, Bristol achieved their highest final league position, reached the semi-final of the FA Cup and Continental Cup. Jess was awarded the 2012 Club Players Player of Year, 2012 Fans Player of the Year and 2012 FA WSL Players Player of Year, voted on by managers and players of the FA WSL.[21][22]

Melbourne Victory, 2012–2014

In November 2012, Fishlock joined W-League side Melbourne Victory for six weeks on a guest player contract helping the team reach their first ever grand final. During the 94th minute of a match against former champions, Canberra United, she scored the game-winning goal boosting Melbourne to the top of the league table.[23][24] During her six games with Melbourne, she became a favourite with the fans and was also nominated as one of four players for the league-wide Player of the Year Award.[25][26]

In September 2013, it was announced that Fishlock would return to the Victory for the 2013/14 season on loan from the Seattle Reign FC.[27] During her 11 appearances for the team, she scored three goals and helped lead the team to the Grand Final where the Victory defeated Brisbane Roar 2–0. Fishlock served an assist to Lisa De Vanna in the 38th minute for the game-winning goal. She was named Most Valuable Player of the Match. The win marked the Victory's first Grand Final title in the history of the team.[28]

Reign FC, 2013–present

Fishlock during a match against FC Kansas City, 2013

In February 2013, Fishlock joined NWSL side, Reign FC for the league's inaugural season.[29][30] During their second league match against the Portland Thorns, Fishlock scored her first goal in front of a record-setting 16,479 fans at Jeld-Wen Field, establishing herself as a powerful force for the Reign.[31][32] The media named her NWSL Player of the Week for Week 2 of the 2013 season.[33] Fishlock started in all 21 games that she played during the regular season, missing only one game due to Wales national team commitments. She was a leading scorer on the team with four goals and tallied a total of 1,879 minutes.[34]

Fishlock defends against Christen Press, 2014

Fishlock returned to the Reign for the 2014 season. The team set a league record unbeaten streak of 16 games during the first part of the season. During the 16 game stretch, the Reign compiled a 13–0–3 record.[35] The Reign finished first in the regular season clinching the NWSL Shield for the first time.[36] After defeating the Washington Spirit 2–1 in the playoff semi-finals, the Reign were defeated 2–1 by FC Kansas City during the championship final.[37] Following the regular season, Fishlock along with teammates Kendall Fletcher, Kim Little, and Nahomi Kawasumi was named to the league's Best XI team.[38] Fishlock finished the 2014 season, having scored four goals and provided 8 assists. She started in all 22 matches in which she played.[39]

During the 2015 season, Fishlock scored her first goal of the season during the team's home-opener against Western New York Flash. Her goal in the 25th minute was the first of the match and assist to Megan Rapinoe in the 86th minute contributed to a 5–1 win for the Reign.[40] During a match against the Washington Spirit on 2 May, Fishlock scored a goal in the 75th minute off an assist from Kim Little resulting in a 3–1 win over the Spirit.[41] During a match against Sky Blue FC in New Jersey, Fishlock received a controversial red card in the 90th minute that required her to sit out the team's next match against league-leading Chicago Red Stars. The controversy stemmed from a scrum in the box after a Sky Blue corner kick and Fishlock's last-minute save on the goal line. Fishlock stated the ball bounced off her head, but Sky Blue forward Nadia Nadim said she blocked it with her hand and the ref awarded Sky Blue the penalty kick.[42][43] Both matches resulted in 1–1 draws. During the team's second match against Sky Blue FC in Seattle on 6 June, Fishlock scored a goal and an assist earning Player of the Match after leading Seattle to a 3–0 win.[44] She was named NWSL Player of the Week by the media for the ninth week of the season.[45] The Reign finished the regular season in first place clinching the NWSL Shield for the second consecutive time.[46] After advancing to the playoffs, Seattle faced fourth-place team Washington Spirit and won 3–0, advancing to the championship final.[47] Seattle was ultimately defeated 1–0 by FC Kansas City during the championship final in Portland.[48] Fishlock, along with teammates Kim Little, Beverly Yanez, and Lauren Barnes were named to the NWSL Best XI team.[49]

During the first few months of the 2016 season, Fishlock was unavailable due to injury[50] along with a number of offensive players, including forwards Manon Melis[51] and Megan Rapinoe.[52] Seattle finished the regular season in fifth place with a 8–6–8 record, narrowly missing a playoff spot by two points.[53]

Glasgow City loan

Fishlock (second player from left) warms up for FFC Frankfurt, September 2014

After the conclusion of the NWSL season in August 2013, it was announced that Fishlock would join Scottish Women's Premier League champions Glasgow City on loan until November 2013.[54] Of her signing Glasgow City head coach Eddie Wolecki Black said, "This signing is significant, not only for the club but also the country. Whilst we continue to set new records at home, our aim is to make progress on the European stage and the signing of Jess highlights this. She will bring experience, versatility, pace and intelligence to the team and most importantly will raise the standard of the players around her. That's what top players do, they make good players better players both on and off the park."[55] She scored two goals in her six appearances for the club helping the club finish in first place during the regular season and win the Scottish Women's Cup.[34] She also competed in four matches in the 2013–14 UEFA Women's Champions League with the club reaching the Round of 8.[56]

FFC Frankfurt loan

Fishlock spent the 2014–15 Reign FC off-season on loan in the Frauen Bundesliga with FFC Frankfurt.[57] She was a vital part of the team's success, starting in all available matches. Frankfurt was unbeaten in the second half of the season, a run which led them to be crowned the champions of Europe.[58] Although Fishlock returned to Seattle prior to the 2015 UEFA Women's Champions League Final, she was considered a huge part of the team's journey to the championship title by players, staff and fans and subsequently earned a UEFA Women's Champions League medal.[59]

Fishlock playing for Wales, September 2015

Reading loan

On 19 August 2020, it was confirmed that Fishlock had joined Reading Women on loan from OL Reign. The deal was signed as doubts remained about when the NWSL would resume.[60] During a match against Brighton & Hove Albion, she scored two goals lifting Reading to a 3–1 win.[61]

International career

Fishlock made her debut for the U-19 national team at age 16.[62] After captaining the U–19 team, she was called up to the senior national team and made her debut against Switzerland in 2006.[5] She captained the senior team from 2012 to 2015.[63] After a 1–0 win over Mexico during Wales' first match at the 2013 Algarve Cup, Fishlock scored the game-winning goal of the match during the 11th minute.[64] After Wales tied Hungary 1–1 on 11 March 2013, the team faced Portugal in the knockout stage. Fishlock scored Wales only goal in the 77th minute. Portugal scored an equalizing goal in the 93rd-minute leading to penalty kicks to determine the victor. Portugal won after scoring three penalty kicks over Wales' one.[65]

In February 2015, incoming Welsh manager Jayne Ludlow unveiled her squad for the 2015 Istria Cup which did not feature long-time captain Fishlock.[66] Two months later, she was re-called to the team.[67]

On 5 April 2017, Fishlock became the first Welsh player to earn 100 caps for the national team.[10]

Coaching career

In 2012, Fishlock was the first team coach for her former team, Cardiff City Ladies FC, alongside Manager Jamie Sherwood.[9]

In Melbourne City FC's inaugural season in 2015–16, Fishlock was a player-assistant coach alongside head coach Joe Montemurro.[68] She returned in the same role for the 2016–17 season.[69]

Midway through City's 2016–17 season, head coach Joe Montemurro became the chief assistant coach of Melbourne City men's team, and Fishlock was promoted to player-head coach.[70] In February 2017, she coached Melbourne City to its second consecutive W-League Grand Final title and scored a goal in the 2–0 win over Perth Glory.[8] With the win, she became the first player-coach to win the league title in the W-League's history.[71]

In October 2017, Melbourne City FC announced that Fishlock is returning for the 2017–18 season as a player-assistant coach.[72] She will play under, and coach alongside, now-head coach Patrick Kisnorbo, who assisted Fishlock in the previous season.

Personal life, other work, and endorsements

Fishlock says she knew she was a lesbian at the age of 12, and was bullied at school for her sexuality.[73]

Fishlock has been featured in a column for BBC Sport since 2013.[74] She gave an interview in October 2015, during which she described her struggles as a high-profile gay athlete. Demanding greater "respect", she railed against social media homophobia and threw her weight behind the work of Athlete Ally.[75]

Fishlock appeared in an advertisement for Adidas in 2016 along with Becky Sauerbrunn.[76] She had an endorsement deal with natural sports beverage company, Golazo, Inc. prior to the company folding.[77]

In June 2018, it was announced that Fishlock would be granted an MBE for "services to football and the LGBT community" as part of that year's Birthday Honours.[78] Fishlock officially received her MBE from The Prince of Wales in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in December 2018.[79] In December 2020, she was named to the Stonewall Sports Champion Team.[80]



AZ Alkmaar

Bristol Academy

Melbourne Victory

Reign FC

FFC Frankfurt

Melbourne City




Melbourne City

See also


  1. ^ "RCD Espanyol 6–1 Bristol Academy WFC". International Women's Cup. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  2. ^ a b Jess FishlockFIFA competition record (archived)
  3. ^ a b c d "Jessica Fishlock -Striker". Cardiff City L.F.C. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Jess Fishlock". World Football. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b "International Teams – Jessica Fishlock". The Football Association of Wales. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  6. ^ "Five Reign FC players to watch this season". The Seattle Times. 14 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  7. ^ Jackson-Gibson, Adele (21 March 2017). "Reign FC midfielder Jess Fishlock is set to become first Welsh player to hit 100 caps". Excelle Sports. Archived from the original on 27 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b "W-League grand final: Melbourne City first club to win two titles in a row". ABC. 12 February 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d "Jess Off to Seattle Reign". Cardiff City Ladies FC. Archived from the original on 21 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Jess Fishlock: Wales star had to play 'without pressure of 100 caps'". BBC Sport. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Jess Fishlock Q&A: Wales Women's Superstar Passes on Advice to U15 Girls". Welsh Football Trust. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  12. ^ a b Nakrani, Sachin (4 April 2017). "Jessica Fishlock: 'Louis van Gaal was awe-inspiring but also a little crazy'". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
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  14. ^ "Jessica Fishlock discusses her love for the game with RMC". Ricky Master Coach. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  15. ^ Jenkins, Elise (18 February 2013). "Jess Fishlock: Wales captain's excitement at signing for Seattle Reign". BBC. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
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  18. ^ "Fishlock en Culvin verlaten AZ". AZ Official site. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  19. ^ Leighton, Tony (21 May 2011). "Women's FA Cup final: Arsenal 2–0 Bristol Academy". BBC. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Gareth Bale retains FA of Wales player of the year award". BBC. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
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  29. ^ "Seattle Reign FC announce free agent signings". NWSL News. Archived from the original on 9 July 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
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  32. ^ "Portland Thorns FC vs Seattle Reign FC: Final score 2–1, Alex Morgan is the heartbreak kid". SB Nation. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  33. ^ "Reign FC Midfielder Jessica Fishlock Voted NWSL Player of the Week". Our Sports Central. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  34. ^ a b "Jessica Fishlock". Soccer Way. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
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  42. ^ Kassouf, Jeff (9 May 2015). "Controversial PK earns Sky Blue point against Reign". The Equalizer. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  43. ^ Sinclair, Scott. "Sky Blue FC Earn 1–1 Draw with Seattle Reign in Dramatic Fashion". Playing for 90. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  44. ^ "Reign Blot Out Sky Blue in Fishlock's Return". Sounder at Heart. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
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  47. ^ "Seattle Reign shuts out Washington Spirit, 3–0, in NWSL semi-final". The Seattle Times. 13 September 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
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  49. ^ "our Seattle Reign players make NWSL Best XI squad". Sounder at Heart. 24 September 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  50. ^ Rantz, Susie (28 April 2016). "Jess Fishlock out 4–6 weeks with tibia fracture". Sounder at Heart. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  51. ^ Rantz, Susie (20 May 2016). "Seattle Reign's Manon Melis suffers tibia fracture". Sounder at Heart. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  52. ^ "One Day at a Time". Megan Rapinoe. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  53. ^ "2016 NWSL". Soccer Way. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
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  56. ^ "Glasgow City's Jess Fishlock plays it cool on likely 'Battle of Britain' with Arsenal". The Telegraph. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  57. ^ "Frankfurt sign Fishlock, new Wolfsburg deals". UEFA. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  58. ^ Saffer, Paul. "Frankfurt back on top with fourth triumph". UEFA. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  59. ^ "Jess Fishlock: Seattle Reign player considered Wales retirement". BBC. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  60. ^ "Jess Fishlock: Reading signing says WSL can be 'best in world". BBC. 19 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  61. ^ "Brighton & Hove Albion Women 1 Reading Women". BBC. 20 December 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  62. ^ "Fishlocks aiming high". Cardiff City Ladies Football Website. 11 October 2003. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  63. ^ "Jess Fishlock makes history, hits her 100th cap for Wales". Vavel. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  64. ^ "Mexico vs. Wales Match Report" (PDF). Federacao Portuguesa de Futebol. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  65. ^ "Portugal Beat Wales on penalties – Goal Highlights – 2013 Algarve Women's Cup 13th March". Women's Soccer United. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  66. ^ "Wales captain Jess Fishlock left out of Jayne Ludlow's first squad". BBC Sport. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
  67. ^ Matheson, Sian (1 April 2015). "Jess Fishlock recalled for Wales Women's double-header against Slovakia in Bangor next week". Wales Online. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  68. ^ "Melbourne City FC Sign W-League Internationals Kim Little and Jess Fishlock". Melbourne City FC. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  69. ^ "City re-signs Fishlock and Luik, signs American defender Barnes". Melbourne City FC. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  70. ^ "Melbourne City FC Confirms Interim Coaching Mandates". Melbourne City FC. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  71. ^ "Melbourne City, Seattle Reign star Jess Fishlock 'nowhere near retiring'". ESPN. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  72. ^ "Jess Fishlock returns to City". Melbourne City FC. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  73. ^ "Jess Fishlock: Wales' most capped player says 'school was hell on earth'". BBC Sport. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  74. ^ "Jess Fishlock column". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  75. ^ "Jess Fishlock: Gay Wales & Seattle star urges greater respect". BBC Sport. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  76. ^ McCauley, Kevin (29 November 2016). "adidas unveils new women's cleats in awesome ad with USWNT star Becky Sauerbrunn". SB Nation. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  77. ^ "Lamar Neagle & Jess Fishlock Join Golazo Natural Sports Fuel Team". Golazo. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  78. ^ "Birthday Honours: MBEs for Jess Fishlock and Menna Fitzpatrick". BBC News. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  79. ^ "Jess Fishlock Receives MBE". Football Association of Wales. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  80. ^ "Wales and NWSL standout Jess Fishlock joins Stonewall Sport Champions team". SB Nation. 18 December 2020. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  81. ^ "Re-live: Melbourne City defeat Perth Glory 2–0 in the 2016/17 W-League grand final". Fox Sports News. 12 February 2017. [Jess] Fishlock was named player of the match after a relentless performance in both attack and defence.
  82. ^ Bywater, Alex (6 October 2014). "Real Madrid star Gareth Bale voted Wales player of the year for the fourthtime". Wales Online. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  83. ^ "FAW Awards: David Brooks and Jess Fishlock named Players of the Year". BBC Sport. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 20 December 2020.

Further reading

  • Fan Hong, J. A. Mangan (2004), Soccer, Women, Sexual Liberation: Kicking Off a New Era, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-7146-8408-2
  • Grainey, Timothy (2012), Beyond Bend It Like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer, University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0-8032-4036-8
  • Stead, Phil (2013), Red Dragons: The Story of Welsh Football, Y Lolfa, ISBN 1847714684
  • Stewart, Barbara (2012), Women's Soccer: The Passionate Game, D&M Publishers Incorporated, ISBN 1-926812-60-3

External links

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