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Feb 05, 2024   |  1:14PM AET

Hawkesby opens up about Brighton spell on DubZone

Hawkesby opens up about Brighton spell on DubZone

Mackenzie Hawkesby was the latest guest to feature on the panel of A-League’s magazine show, DubZone, where she shared her experience and expertise along with host Grace Gill, and experts Alicia Ferguson and Teo Pellizzeri.

While re-capping the weekend’s action, Hawkesby provided her personal experience of playing alongside and against some of the best performers this season which was a good insight.

She was also quizzed about her time at Brighton & Hove Albion in the WSL where she made just one appearance and has since backflipped on the move and returned to Sydney FC.

Sydney FC celebrate Hawkesby’s goal against the Mariners

It was a difficult time for Hawkesby as she did get quite homesick and opened up about the struggles she experienced while in England.

“I spent the last six months in Brighton and overall it was a really good experience.

“I built a lot of resilience but I am very happy to be home here in Sydney having played in the best league in the world,” Hawkesby said.

“It’s not easy living away from family and friends which you see a lot of the Matildas do, so that is one thing that is always tough.”

While in Brighton, Hawkesby despite being a very talented midfielder, never saw minutes off the bench and only made one appearance in the Conti Cup, a competition similar to the English Men’s League Cup where they play in a group stage before it heads to knock-outs.

The 23-year-old knew she had the talent to compete with these players but admits that one thing she should’ve done is check how she fit into the team’s system.

“I knew it was going to be tough to get game time going over there, and as a footballer, you need to be playing a little bit and I wasn’t getting that.

Two former Sydney FC Players – Charlie Rule (Brighton) and Caitlin Foord (Arsenal) play their football in the WSL

“I think my style of play never really suited the team’s style and I had to make a decision and to come home was the right one.

“I’m just happy to be home to be honest,” she added.

Since leaving and coming back, the Sky Blues now have a completely different side with six players from last season’s Grand Final no longer at the club or injured.

That’s more than half the side from that 4-0 Western United triumph, but despite this, Hawkesby sees a lot of potential from the current crop of players that Ante Juric has signed.

“Losing our club captain is tough. She’s the heart and soul of the team so it is different.

Mackenzie Hawkesby with skipper Nat Tobin on the field celebrating with the Championship trophy after last season’s Grand Final win.

“But I think that the players we have signed are amazing and we are doing really well to be honest and I feel like I have fit in quite seamlessly.

“It’s weird that I am one of the oldest players in the team at 23, but having two younger players with me in midfield has been great, but overall it has been excellent,” Hawkesby concluded.

Catch the full DubZone episode below.