ONE ON ONE WITH NICHELLE PRINCE

Soccer 360 - - 90th Minute -

2019 IS LOOK­ING LIKE IT

WILL BE A BIG SEA­SON FOR NICHELLE PRINCE. PRINCE, 23, IS CON­SID­ERED TO BE ONE OF THE TOP YOUNG FOR­WARDS IN THE GAME. SOC­CER 360 MAG­A­ZINE’S SEAN MASLIN SPOKE WITH PRINCE ABOUT HER GOALS NEXT SEA­SON FOR BOTH CLUB AND COUN­TRY.

SEAN MASLIN: HOW HAS YOUR OFF­SEA­SON BEEN SO FAR?

Nichelle Prince: It has been good! I first had to go through CONCACAF with Canada so that first month out of the sea­son I went straight into camp and then I got a lit­tle bit of rest af­ter that. But for the last few weeks I have been train­ing so it has been good. It is great to be back and it is nice to get the chance to work on a few things that you wouldn’t usu­ally get the chance to work on.

SM: IF YOU COULD SUM LAST SEA­SON UP FOR THE DASH IN ONE SEN­TENCE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

NP: I would say for­ever chang­ing [Laughs]. We started out a lot dif­fer­ent than we fin­ished and we grew and we learned. I think that our team was for­ever chang­ing and we had to keep on pro­gress­ing and learn­ing from a coach [Vera Pauw, who left in the off­sea­son] that was kind of un­fa­mil­iar to us.

SM: WHAT DO YOU FEEL THAT HOUS­TON NEEDS TO DO TO MAKE IT TO THE PLAY­OFFS NEXT SEA­SON?

NP: I think we just need to have a good sea­son from start to fin­ish. From the first game all of us need to be on the same page. Of course we are not go­ing to be as good in the be­gin­ning as we are in the end but we need to make sure we are get­ting points early on and that we are con­nected as a team. We can­not lose points early on in the sea­son.

SM : 2019 IS A BIG YEAR FOR THE HOUS­TON DASH BUT IT IS ALSO A BIG YEAR FOR THE CANA­DIAN WOMEN’S NA­TIONAL TEAM. HOW EX­CITED ARE YOU WHAT IS TO COME NEXT YEAR?

NP: I am very ex­cited. This will be my first World

Cup year and it is go­ing to be a big year for me with the Dash and with the Na­tional Team. I be­lieve I can make big strides at both stages and I think this year could be a big step­ping stone for my ca­reer. So for now I just want to be pre­pared and be ready be­cause it is all coming pretty fast.

SM: WHAT WOULD MAK­ING THE WORLD CUP ROS­TER MEAN FOR YOU?

NP: Oh it would be so huge. I re­mem­ber watch­ing it four years ago on my couch and cheer­ing on the girls and wish­ing I was in that spot. So be­ing on the team would be huge for me. It would be nice to see all of the work that I have put into my ca­reer and all of the sup­port that I have re­ceived from friends and fam­ily show that it was all worth it. I was at the [2016] Olympics and I didn’t get a whole lot of min­utes so for this tour­na­ment I re­ally want to be a starter and be some­one that can help the team on the field.

SM: WHAT IS YOUR FA­VORITE CHEAT DAY MEAL?

NP: I love sushi. Ev­ery now and then that is my go-to meal.

SM : IF YOU COULD GIVE A YOUNG FOR­WARD ONE PIECE OF AD­VICE FOR MAK­ING IT IN THE PROS WHAT WOULD IT BE?

NP: I think as a for­ward some­times you think, ‘Oh you are just a for­ward or a fin­isher.’ But once you get to the higher stages you have to be an al­laround good player. You have to have the pace, you have to de­fend well, and you have to put in the ex­tra work. So I think it is just about mak­ing sure that you aren’t re­ly­ing on just be­ing a great fin­isher and great in front of the goal. You have to be a great all-around player and that is what it takes to make it at the top lev­els and play at the Na­tional Team.

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