Despite just six fixtures being played and lockdown disrupting the women’s 2020/21 campaign, it’s already been a memorable season for striker, Helen Corbin.
The 20-year-old, who broke into the first team towards the end of last year, found herself leading the line for Steve Cuss’ side in two crucial FA Cup fixtures, both of which were against teams higher up the football pyramid.
Speaking with afcb.co.uk, Corbin discussed her role in the team and how she is continuing to develop with those around her.
“I feel that the season has gone very well for me so far,” she began.
“Getting the chance to start the last couple of games has been brilliant and I think it’s gone well from a personal point of view.
“I didn’t necessarily expect to start against higher opposition when there’s some really experienced players in the team.
“Those experienced players, I’m learning a lot from. To see how Gemma [Hillier] and Molly [Clark] play as a number nine and number ten is good for me because it’s exactly how I want to play.
“It’s good because you can go to any of them about anything. In training, Molly will come over and explain why to do certain things – it clicks and makes sense why to do that.”
The forward, who has four goals from the six games so far this season, went on to admit how her role in the Community Sports Trust has brought her closer to her teammates.
“I work with Katie [Scadding], Steph [Small] and Molly, so you never get a break!
“You find yourself with them all the time and it’s always a laugh when we’re together, so it’s definitely a good thing.
“It’s nice going into the community and doing the after-school clubs, as well as going into the care homes and putting on little games for the residents.
“You’re sometimes the only people that they see, so I love going in and chatting with them. It’s my favourite part of the job.”
While she might live and breathe the game, working in the industry and playing on a weekly basis, the youngster cites her family as being crucial to her love of the sport.
“I wouldn’t be playing football if it wasn’t for my older brothers or my younger brother. They’re very supportive and they always come to the matches.
“I used to play out in the front garden and then as a family, when we’re all in the New Forest together or something, we’d just always play.
“It means so much, they’re always supportive no matter what I do.”
It’s not just off the pitch where Corbin has had continued support, explaining how her rise from the girls’ set-up, under the guidance of community coaches, has stood her in good stead.
“I’ve gained a lot going through from the under-16s, and I was a midfielder then compared to now being a striker,” she continued.
“It’s been good learning what that role is and how I’m going to do certain things in a match – I’ve loved every bit of it!
“The transition happened when I played my first few games in the Development Team.
“I was taken from a midfield position and brought into a striker’s position, so I had to learn that as well as adapting to women’s football.”
With lockdown bringing an untimely halt to the women’s season earlier this month, Corbin admitted that it won’t stop her side from continuing their fine form.
Having won five games to progress to the first round proper of the FA Cup for just the second time in the club’s history, the Cherries also kick-started their league campaign with an 11-0 win away at Oxford City.
“I think, as a team, we will pick it back up and we’ll continue how we left it.
“Everyone is doing fitness and we’re keeping the morale high with quizzes again. We’ve also got a group chat, so it’s been good to keep in touch while we’re not training.”
AFC Bournemouth Women are proudly supported by two local companies.
Thank you to Bournemouth University for being the front of shirt sponsor and thank you to Vitality for supporting our women’s and girls' setup.