Following news earlier this week that Leeds Chargers and GB Lions standout, Gaby Knops, had been signed by the WNFC‘s Seattle Majestics, DC got a chance to catch up with the hard-hitting baller ahead of her exciting relocation all the way to the west coast!
DC: Hi Gaby, first up – congratulations! How does it feel to be signed up to a team stateside? Are you excited about the new challenge?
GK: I’m so excited and humbled to be signed to the Majestics. I can’t wait to play another 11-a-side season, and to have the opportunity to play alongside some of the best players in the world.
DC: We know you’ve worked hard for this opportunity – Britball fans might know all about your amazing performances for the Chargers and the GB Lions, but it’s great to see you’re also turning heads stateside, too! How did the opportunity to play in the US come about?
GK: I got the chance to play as I had met some of the Seattle girls in Canada when I played in the IFAF Women’s World Cup. We stayed in touch and one, in particular, Ashley Young, sung my praises to the head coach. We started talking, and I sent my highlights over. They obviously went down well, and so we started making plans for the upcoming season.
DC: What’s the shape of the women’s game like in the US? Obviously, we saw the New York Sharks come over and impress in the Lions’ Pro Cloud Trophy, and Team USA were very convincing in the World Championships, but all-in-all how big is the women’s game in the US? Are you expecting it to be a big challenge?
GK: The game is big in the states and growing year on year. This is the first year of the new league structure in the states ran by the new Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC) which is run by amazing women who’ve built incredibly careers in football – including experience in the NFL.
The league is built around the goal of advancing the sport, and has some of the best players from across the world. As such, I’m sure the level of football will be a challenge for me but I’m looking forward to it and I’m so excited to get the chance to play alongside and against Team USA players.
— Seattle Majestics (@seattlemajestic) November 4, 2017
DC: The women’s came continues to grow here in the UK, and you’re someone that’s always been at the leading edge of that. If others wanted to follow in your footsteps, what are some tips you’d share with them?
GK: This is a huge opportunity for me and to bring more interest and to continue to grow the women’s game in the UK.
For anyone who wants to follow I’d say work hard, train hard, and take every opportunity you can. I have played a season in Finland and for CAF and can’t emphasise how helpful, but also great fun, these opportunities to play abroad have been.
Training with guys, as well as girls as part of the Leeds, now Yorkshire, Academy really helped me up my game and develop greater physicality. Playing for the Great British Lions, alongside my season in Finland, gave me access to some amazing coaches, allowing me to learn so much and really develop my playing style.
Work hard, and those same opportunities are there for those only now coming up through the British game – through the Opal, Sapphire and Diamond Series.
DC: Thank you Gaby for your time, and congratulations once again!
GK: You’re welcome – I’d just like to also add a massive thank you for all the support from everyone in the Britball world. Thank you to you too, at DC, for the support!
The Women’s National Football Conference will kick off its inaugural season in 2019, with the Majestics schedule to play six regular-season fixtures through April and May against west coast rivals the LA Bobcats, Las Vegas Silverstars, San Diego Surge and San Diego Rebellion!