Midfielder Jacinta Fernandes-Brough admitted her sights are set firmly on gaining promotion – as FC Málaga City Femenino start the second phase of the season with a home game against Marbella FC Femenino today.
#FCMC Femenino rounded off the group stage unbeaten, having won 17 of their 18 games and scored 151 goals, while conceding just seven.
Fernandes-Brough, who has been a prominent feature in the midfield throughout the season, revealed she has “loved” learning the Spanish way of playing, and said it has “completely changed” the way she plays the game.
“For me, taking a year off from college, this has been a great opportunity,” the midfielder said.
“The chance to train six times a week with regular games on a weekend was something I didn’t get last year and I really appreciate it.
“The coaching level has been very high. The team has been brilliant, and it’s been fun.
“There’s a good team environment. I find the girls are all very close, and it’s been an all-round great experience.
“We’ve just finished up our regular games this season, and we are very proud to finish top of the table, dropping only two points. We’re really looking forward to going into the Play-Offs.
“Personally, I’ve appreciated the chance to learn the Spanish style of football. It’s much more possession based, which, especially as a central midfielder, I’ve loved and it’s completely changed the way I play as a player.
“It is something I’m looking forward to taking back to college with me.”
#FCMC Femenino have faced teams such as Atlético de Madrid, Granada CF and UD Almería, to name just a few, this season, and Fernandes-Brough admitted those showcase games have been great to test herself against higher-level teams.
“The showcase games have been really valuable for us,” Fernandes-Brough added.
“We’ve had chances to play showcase games against Granada, Málaga, and teams that are in the second and third division, so we can test ourselves and see how we compare to teams higher up in the Spanish system.
“It has been really valuable and so has getting to travel, and see parts of the country. Playing against Atlético Madrid was a life-changing experience.
“It was unreal to be at their training ground, and to play against such a high-level team was a great experience for me. As a team, we really enjoyed it.”
Talking about what the future holds, Fernandes-Brough will return to play collegiate soccer in America, and is aiming to become a starter with Swarthmore College – who are an NCAA program.
The midfielder said: “The longer I’m here, the more I wish I could stay, but I have to go back to college next year to finish my undergraduate degree.
“The main thing for the team this year is to get promotion. That’s what we really want, and the whole goal that we’re working towards is to be playing in the third tier against higher level teams next year.
“Hopefully we can achieve that. I think we’ve done really well so far, and we’ll definitely go into the Play-Offs with promotion in mind.
“Personally, I’ll be going back to college as a sophomore, and I’m hoping my experiences here will help me get more opportunities and playing time.
“A personal goal is to be a starter for the full season when I go back. I’m hoping my experience with FC Malaga City will help me do that.”