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Jill Roord on settling at Arsenal, extra minutes and *hailstorms

Having moved to Arsenal from Bayern Munich over the summer, Jill Roord has helped the Gunners keep their strong Dutch contingent after losing both Dominque Bloodworth and Sari van Veenendaal and the 22 year-old has fast settled into life in England. We caught up with her for a quick chat after Arsenal’s second-leg win over Fiorentina in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Having played all but 35 minutes of the Gunners’ five games so far this season, the young midfielder is grateful for the extended playing time. Well used to the rigors of midweek Champions League games, having been involved in every season of the competition since she was 16, the Dutch international was feeling no ill affects of the increased workload.

I feel good. I’d rather play a lot of games and train less than train more and play no games so it’s fine.”

With the seeding for the competition having drawn recent criticism with unseeded Arsenal as likely to draw top seeds Lyon as they are bottom seeds Brøndby and even the Fiorentina manager noting that as a seeded team, it was tough on them to draw the Gunners. For Roord and Arsenal, although they’d rather not have the trial of fire that comes with sparring with Lyon or Wolfsburg, they know if they want to progress, they’ll have to play them at some point…

Of course you hope that you get a team not like Lyon or Wolfsburg first, you want to come as far as possible and it’s a draw and we have no idea who we get but in the end if you want to win you have to beat everybody. But it would be nice if we could play them a little later,” she said.

With both of her former teams Twente (unseeded) and Bayern Munich (seeded) still in the UWCL, Roord has no preference over who she’d like the team to face in the next round.

I’ve not thought about it, we just want to go to the next round and now we’ll see on Monday who we’re going to get.

As for settling in in England and the WSL?

I’m really happy here, at the club, the training, the team, I really like it, I like the way we play and I’m feeling really good.”

One of three Dutch internationals at the club, there’s no denying that having Vivianne Miedema and Daniëlle van de Donk has helped make the transition a little more comfortable for Roord.

Of course it helps, it’s nice, I felt comfortable right away when I came here, all the girls are really nice but it’s nice to talk Dutch sometimes and travel to the national team together.

And has the midfielder brought her bicycle with her to London?

No… I don’t like biking [laughs] I do it sometimes in Holland but really I’d rather take the car, I’m lazy.

Upsettingly not conforming to one Dutch stereotype the Oranje player is however missing some of the dietary delicacies of home.

I do, I miss hagelslag on the bread!

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