After fighting her way through the town youth system, Left Back Eva Hubbard has become an important figure in Joe Sheehan’s backline and had a significant influence in last seasons fight to the top, as well as Town’s brilliant defensive record.
Eva has been with Town from a young age competing in the u10s and u12s teams. We speak to Eva about her experience in the youth system and her thoughts on last season.
Get to know you questions:
What team do you support?
What do you do outside of football?
I currently study at the University of Suffolk, doing a degree in sport and exercise science. I also have 2 jobs which involve working evenings and weekends when I can. Any spare time I have I like to hang out with friends and family.
Which footballer, Mens or Womens, would you love to play alongside?
It would have to be Marcelo as he is one of my role models.
Who inspires you?
Marcelo & Lucy Bronze
What’s your thoughts on VAR?
If used correctly it’s a good system to rule out the unfairness in football, however I still think it has a long way to go before it is used correctly and fairly.
What’s your favourite tv series?
I like loads of different genres, but my favourite would have to be Prison Break or Gilmore girls!
3 songs from your playlist?
Love is a gamble, the Scotts and top winners.
Do you have any pre match rituals?
I always put my left boot on before my right
If you could only have 1 food for the rest of your life, What would it be?
I think it would be pasta, as there’s so many different things you can have with it.
A footballing memory you’ll never forget?
Going down to Chichester and having our first experience playing a side in the league above, we were unsure how we were going to deal with them being in a higher league, but then going on to beat them 6-0 was amazing!
Which team mate would room share with on an away trip?
I’ve had a few different room shares on away trips but I think my go to would be Ellie Rossiter, as we have the fullback bond 😉
Which team mate controls the pre match music?
Usually Paige Wakefield – we all sent in songs at the start of the season, so it is more of a group playlist.
Which team mate is the trouble maker?
Which team mate is the worst singer?
Paige Peake on the minibus 😉
Which 4 team mates would you pick in your 5-a-side team?
I would have Keets, Lucy Egan, Anna & Eloise.
Which team mate has the best skills?
Probably Sophie Peskett, as she flies past players down the wing!
Which team mate is the worst dancer?
Think everyone would agree Lucy Egan 😉
How have you dealt with lockdown? How have you kept yourself occupied?
I am lucky to have a home gym, so I have been able to keep up my off-season programme by running, cycling and using the weights for strength sessions. Aside from football/fitness my family and I have been doing work around the house and garden to keep busy, and most evenings I do stuff online with my friends or watch Netflix.
You have been retained for the new season, how happy were you with the news?
I was extremely happy when I was told I was retained, just want to get back playing now!
The youth system at the club has produced a good amount of first team players, yourself being one, it must be encouraging for youngsters in the region to see a route into women’s football?
Definitely! I was in Ipswich’s Centre of Excellence (COE) at U10s & U12s before it was shut down and then came back again for the 21’s programme which was a great pathway into the senior team. It is good to see that the ACC has been linked with Ipswich so again they have more of a youth system right from U12 creating a good player pathway into the senior side.
The fan base last season had some amazing growth and attracted a lot of first timers, how encouraging is it for players to see the fan base grow so much in a short space of time?
It was great to see how much the fan base was developed over the last season. It means a lot to all of us as players and we are really grateful for the support! Long may it continue!
Some of the men’s players have been spotted at games as well as men’s manager Paul Lambert. There seems to be a good relationship between the two teams?
There is a decent relationship between the men’s and academy and the women’s teams. Being able to train at the training ground it such a great experience for us and allows us to get the most out of each session with access to the gym, the physio rooms etc. Paul Lambert especially has been great with us, he has trained us a few times and been to both first team and 21’s matches, most notably travelling all the way up to Manchester to see the us vs Manchester City and speaking to us pre match and at halftime.
Do the men’s players ever get involved with the women’s team behind the scenes or are they both kept separate?
There is an occasional crossover, doing things such as meet and greets in the fan zone on men’s matchdays, and also promotion work for the club. We train at different times, but we do often see them around the club, and they are all really friendly and happy to have a conversations with us.
Last season didn’t end as expected, what is the feeling among the players as we push towards a new season?
We were all really devastated at the season ending the way it did. Obviously looking likely at promotion we were gutted when the news came in that the season was being voided but we are in a good position with lots of retained players and will be looking again to get promoted this season.
Last season we were a very hard team to beat, do the players feel a bit of pressure to carry that on next season given how last season ended?
I think we do feel the pressure but at the same time we know it is something we can do and we are all buzzing to get back to working hard and winning games.
We have seen you play at Centre Back a couple of times last season, are you comfortable playing there and is that something we may see more from you?
Fullback is my predominant position, but I am more than happy to play as a centre back. It’s a new challenge and requires different tactics but it is nice to have a change and know that Joe is happy for me to play in more than one position.
Nikita Runnacles has put in some really impressive displays, it must give the defence a lift knowing you have such a good keeper behind you?
Yeah, Keets has been amazing this season, she has got loads of experience at a high level so bringing that into her game has been really helpful as she communicates well with us all making it a really solid defence.
Peake, Cooper and Egan seemed to really gel well together at the back. Having them alongside you must give you confidence.
Yeah, all 3 are quality centre backs, all for difference reasons, which is good as they all have different strengths that makes us solid as a defensive unit.
What are your thoughts on the new kits?
I really like both the new kits and excited to see them in person soon!
Finally, how much are you looking forward to getting back to training after being out for so long?
It something I’ve missed right from the start of lockdown, and although I’ve been doing individual sessions or playing in the garden with my brothers, I’m really excited to get back playing with the girls and get the season started again!
Big thanks to Eva for her time and answering our questions!.