Flaherty: The only way is up for West Ham United
Most professional footballers use the off-season to take holidays and relax ahead of the hectic new campaign. Not Gilly Flaherty.
West Ham United women's captain instead opted to utilise her time away from Rush Green Stadium to start her own business, opening a Cryotherapy centre called The Cryo-Lounge.
"I didn't have a holiday, which I think I'm going to regret a bit!" Flaherty told whufc.com. "I opened up my own Cryotherapy centre in Kent, which is really good for me personally. I've set that up but hopefully next summer I may even get a holiday."
A few days into pre-season, Flaherty is feeling the effects of the hard work on the training field. The sessions implemented by head coach Matt Beard have the side leaving everything out of the pitch.
The centre-back is enjoying the hard work though and is delighted to get back to training with her West Ham teammates for the 2019/20 campaign.
Flaherty said: "This year has probably been the hardest one so far for me. I might be showing my age there though. I'm positive though, and so are all of the girls. We've got a good pre-season programme in place so we're ready to go on the first day of the season.
"It's good to get these first sessions out of the way. The only way is up now. It's nice to loosen the legs again; try and get on the ball. It's great to see everyone again and get everyone back in. We've had a bit of time away from each other so it's good to catch up and everyone is in good spirits. It's good to get back to it and get ready to go again."
With a new FA Barclays Women's Super League season beginning in September, Flaherty believes the Hammers can push on and enjoy an even more successful campaign in 2019/20.
The Irons finished seventh last season in the top flight, as well as reaching the Final of the SSE Women's FA Cup, and the skipper feels everyone wants to achieve success at West Ham.
"I said here when I joined that I came here to win things," Flaherty added. "Last year we were a brand new team with maybe a slightly different mindset. This year we want to push on. We want to win all of our games and we want to win trophies. We want to push on this season."