Let’s Play Ball

My turn this week….

I want to start by thanking EVERYONE that’s got involved so far, I am still feeling very nervous about this whole blog thing. It’s quite bizarre hoping and thinking people might read, relate or respond…which I really hope you do.

I figure I should kick off by telling you a little bit about myself, I am sure as the weeks go on there will be topics I go into with more detail depending on what people would like to hear about and engage with. The aim is to have a mixture of guests featuring as well as a bit about me.

I know that before starting this blog there had been some interest in me talking about my experiences as a Player Liaison in the Premier League and my life in football so far, which I am sure I will discuss at some point especially as sport has been and is still a huge part of my life. Plus although the dream was to work in the English Premier League the football led to other things which I enjoy equally. None of it came easy, and still doesn’t but when your passion and work are one you can sometimes overlook some of the shit you have to go through to get to where you want to be…and I am still not where I would like, but how many of us are?

I will say one of my highlights has been attending the FIFA Best Awards and meeting some football legends such as these two…. do you know who they are?

I feel like it’s only right to go back to the beginning….I started playing football from the age of around 6, maybe even younger. I just loved it since forever! I am not sure whether it’s because of having Italian parents and winning the World Cup in ‘82 or if just by growing up in England where people are mad for “the beautiful game” it somehow influenced me. 

I played football all through my school years playing for local teams and getting involved in games anywhere I could. I remember being distraught at school when at the age of 11 the teachers said I could no longer play competitively against the boys incase they injured me! It was more likely the other way…but rules were rules which is why I had to find other ways to still get to play and continued to throughout school and then onto university.

I am so glad I grew up in a time where there aren’t too many digital photographs of me everywhere to constantly be reminded of my fashion and hair disasters.

The first photograph above is of my university team, we were awesome! Not just because I am saying it but we really were, we won the league! Whilst at University I also had signed with Port Vale. I had the choice to play for them or Stoke City but chose Port Vale because at the time I was still a bit of a Take That fan and hoped Robbie Williams might come and watch us play. FYI, he never did. After graduation I moved back down south and signed for Rushden & Diamonds but to be honest I do not remember too much about those days as it was a while ago.

The second photograph above is from my Major League Soccer (MLS) days circa 2000/2001.

From the age of nineteen I used to spend my summers in the USA coaching “soccer” and playing exhibition games. I had the most amazing time travelling America whilst kicking a ball around – loved it! Every week I would go to a different place to coach and stay with a host family, some of whom I am still in touch with decades later! (Yes I am THAT old).

My first year I was on the East Coast working in New York, Boston and all around. My second year I made my first visit to Nevada and the famous strip of Las Vegas, although not sure if I can retell some of those stories, as we all know what happens in Vegas…

I got based on the West Coast which is when I fell in love with California and the LA Galaxy. I got to work in San Francisco and San Diego which were great but I just loved Los Angeles and still do. I think Laguna Beach was one of my favourite places to have worked but basically the whole LA thing had me at “hello”.

I totally loved being part of the football/soccer family in the USA, it was just so much more acceptable for women to play football. I still remember how Mia Hamm was kicking ass on the USA Womens Team and how much I looked up to her. Female role models in sport especially football were pretty hard to come by when I was playing. Fast forward to now, 2020 and Mia Hamm is still involved in football as one of the owners of LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) in the MLS.

I feel blessed to have been able to combine my love of sport and travel, and am grateful of the experiences so far, which I hope to share more of with you.

Thanks so much for taking time to read this introduction to me! I promise to do my best in getting as many people involved as possible, there’ll be opportunities with question and answer sessions and competitions to come.

You can drop me a message via a few different ways including the comments section(s) on here as well as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t forget you can still check out AC Shoots the Breeze WITH Johnny Nelson and WITH Nick Bright – next special guest to be announced shortly.

Please share this with your family and friends (if appropriate) 😁 and remember; Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you.

Have a great week!

Be Kind

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