Brittany Bock, the Fighting Irish Alumna, is no stranger to playing in the United States. Bock was the fifth overall pick in the 2009 season of the WPS by the L.A. Sol. Since then, Bock continued her professional success with Washington Freedom and later with the 2011 WPS Champions, the Western New York Flash. Her versatility on the pitch will not only provide a presence on the attack, but also in defending. New Jersey, welcome the newest member of Sky Blue FC, Brittany Bock.
Brittany, Congratulations on recently signing with Sky Blue FC. How does it feel to have the opportunity to play in the first season with the NWSL?
Thank you! I am very excited and thankful that I have another opportunity to play professionally here in the States! Last year was a bit of a transition year with the WPS folding, and it has been quite a rollercoaster ride. Getting the announcement around Thanksgiving was fantastic news and helped me realize how blessed I am to have this opportunity again in the US!
You had the chance to play with Sky Blue in Japan. How was your experience there?
My trip to Japan with Sky Blue was one of the most fulfilling trips abroad I have ever had. I really enjoyed the group of people we traveled with. I played with a lot of new faces on this trip, and the girls and the Sky Blue staff made this experience one I will always remember. We were very privileged to be able to travel around Kagoshima and Okinawa, experiencing many different traditions and lifestyles. I was blown away by the Japanese culture. Everywhere we went we were greeted with the utmost respect. I was extremely humbled by the experience, both on and off the field. I even got to train with INAC Kobe for one afternoon and was blown away by their discipline, technical abilities and passion for this game. I was honored to have that opportunity!
You have also had the opportunity to play in the WPS, W-League, and Damallsvenskan; what have you learned from your time with these different leagues?
I’ve been very blessed to say the least. Coming straight out of college and playing in the best league in the world was an experience I will never forget with the WPS. I got the chance to play with the VERY BEST players from all over the world for 3 years in a row and I grew a lot along the way. I had a great time last summer playing in the W-League with the Colorado Rush. I have a lot of respect for the club and all the coaches/people in that organization. It gave me a chance to take on a much bigger leadership role and I hope that I was able to inspire and push the girls I played with. It was nice to see all the love and support that the W-League got. It’s a great league for players to continue to grow and develop through college. Having the opportunity in Sweden was also a great experience, and I enjoyed this different culture of soccer. The style of play varied from the US league, but the passion and love of the game did not. I met some pretty amazing people out in Vittsjo and it was fun being a part of their journey! It’s great to see women’s soccer growing all over the world, and that is why I am so thankful we have a pro league back in the States!
With that being said, what are you expecting or looking forward to most with the NWSL?
Being able to play in front of thousands and thousands of little girls aspiring to be just like us one day. I am very excited for all the die-hard soccer fans to be able to watch some of the best athletes in the world compete in their back yard. With 8 different locations all over the US… it gives more people the opportunity to experience it. Also it is so rewarding to be able to play the sport I love in front of all my friends and family. Every city I go to, it allows me to re-connect with family living in different states and friends from high school and college!
What role do you see the NWSL playing in the growth of women’s soccer here in the United States, and, more importantly, globally?
There are so many talented players and having a professional league in the States allows our National Team program to pluck the very best right here in the States; we saw that with WUSA and the WPS. I am excited to be a part of a league where we can give players hope and inspire them to dream big to one day step out on the pitch playing the game they love, right here in the US as a pro. Soccer is the most loved sport all over the world, yet here in the States we are constantly trying to raise the interest level. Our WNT has created such an interest and high standard in women’s soccer, and the NWSL allows us to build on their success and continue to raise the bar of women’s soccer.
You are an extremely versatile player. Is there a specific position you are more comfortable in compared to the rest?
Definitely, center mid! I think I have a lot of great qualities on the defensive side, yet I can also be very threatening in the attack. Having scored a lot of goals in college, I’ve always loved being involved on both sides; being able to help my team score goals, but also keep that shutout. I feel like I can give my teammates the best of my abilities from that position.
When you aren’t playing soccer, what do you like to do in your free time?
Hiking, camping, fishing, biking, drawing/painting and listening to music, taking pictures, Bible study, playing games with my family, anything with my boyfriend, working out and trying new exercises, baking and cooking, COFFEE SHOPS (where I am now!), and hanging out with happy and inspiring people!
What is the first thing you want to do when you get to New Jersey? Any specific places you would like to visit?
Honestly, I don’t really know. I’ve only been in NJ in and out for soccer trips. I’d love some suggestions from all the Jersey/New Yorkers out there! Btw, my boyfriend wants to know where there are some good fishing spots… haha.
You are in a championship game that comes down to penalty kicks, which four players (male or female) would you choose as the other PK takers?
Pele and Michelle Akers! For a change of pace, I’d love to have Iya Traore and Mr. Woo on my side! If you don’t know them… Google them and be amazed. Then Chuck Norris if it goes to a 6th shooter…
If you could play soccer in any soccer stadium across the world, where would you play?
The stadium where the next Women’s World Cup final is going to be played ;)
Some fans may not be aware, but you sell jewelry for Premier Designs. Would you like to tell us a little about that?
Well … Premier has changed my life and my family’s life. Being quite the tomboy growing up, the idea of selling jewelry and hanging out with a bunch of ladies was the last thing I thought I would be doing, but everything happens for a reason. I am so blessed to be part of a company whose main purpose is to enrich every life we touch, serve others and build positive lifelong relationships! I’d be part of this company no matter what product we sold, but jewelry makes every girl/woman feel beautiful and that makes me happy. I give away thousands of dollars in free jewelry every year, give people an escape from their everyday hectic lives, and give the lucky ones an opportunity to live a life of vitality! Premier Designs is the perfect fit for me because I can play soccer and train everyday, yet have an extra income on the side… plus it brings out the diva in me ;).
I would personally like to thank Brittany Bock for taking time out of her schedule to speak with me. Fans, make sure to follow Brittany on her road with Sky Blue FC at @illbbock on Twitter. Again, a big thank you to Brittany and good luck this upcoming season.