Our premier keeper is back blogging: We started our season off with a bang, with a 3-1 win overly newly promoted Coventry City...
I have to say, Coventry impressed me with their overall play and tenacity. I am sure that they will more than hold their own at this level, over the coming months.
On the City front, there has been so much going on behind the scenes, with now a much bigger and better input from the club. They have been good enough to present us with a new home at the Eastland’s Sports Arena and have also been able to arrange a new training venue at the new Communications College (next door to my office) in Manchester, which will allow us to train on Tuesdays and Thursdays, instead of the dreaded Friday nights. It is also the first time that we have not had to pay any subs, which last year totalled over £200. The club have also been putting regular updates on the club’s official website and also on the club’s Facebook page.
I feel that the pitch at Eastland’s - which for those that don’t know, is set in the shadow of the City stadium - has the best pitch that you will see in our league, or any women’s league this season. I am sure teams will love coming to play City Ladies this year, so they can sample our wonderful pitch and facilities.
On the playing side, we have had to say farewell to Kim Turner and Char Farrell, who have both moved onto Blackburn Rovers. Kim was only with us for a short time but she will be missed because of her ‘cheeky chappy’ demeanour. The ‘Tank’, on the other hand, had been with City since she was 17 years of age and has spent the last 5 years with the Blues. I know that Char felt the time was right to move on and try and play at a higher level. Char will be sorely missed as she was an integral part of the City team. As someone who has also done this themselves, I could never criticize any player for wanting to try and better themselves and play at a higher level. I’m sure I join everyone at City in wishing Char and Kim every success, unless they are playing us of course, then I want them to be rubbish!
But as old faces depart, new ones come in and we have been lucky that we have been able to recruit Sarah Danby, Felicity Middleton and Leanne De Silva who have all played at this level at Sunderland, Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday respectively. Lynda Shepard has also come on board for a short time, until the Super League starts and will be great to have around the place as she is a leader and someone that has a strong winner’s mentality. I know that Lynda hates to lose and I am sure that this will only rub off on other players at the club.
From a personal perspective, I had a different view for our first game of the season, taking my place on the bench, after I picked up an injury last Sunday, in a practice match. I somehow managed to pull my ‘Gluteus Maximus' (basically, the muscle in my bum) and it had not cleared up by match day. Fingers crossed it will be better for this week’s cup game against Leicester City.
Danny Brown took her place between the sticks for us against Coventry City and gave a faultless display. Danny has all the attributes to go on to be a top goalkeeper but just needs to believe in her own ability - which is there for everyone to see in training. I think in the past she has had a tough time and this has affected her confidence but I’m sure the run out for the first team on Sunday would have done wonders for her confidence and will also make it way tougher for me to win my place back!
I am probably now in my last season of playing after around 22 seasons. Time is starting to take its toll with on-going muscle problems in my legs, which does affect my ability to play. I know people like to say that goalkeepers just stand there but they seem to forget all the high impact training that we do, which does take it out of you. I’m sure other goalkeepers will agree with me.
(Pic: Andie wondering, wistfully, where all the years went...and when she might get a shot to save.)
After I hang up my boots I obviously want to spend more time with my family which now includes: a puppy, two cats and three chickens.
I would also like to be able to follow Manchester City home and away. I do have a season ticket but due to my commitments to the women’s team I have to miss games on Sundays and can’t attend as many away games as I would like.
Manchester City FC and the ladies team are a massive part of my life and I am sure that once I retire, I will find myself a role within the women’s team (if they will have me!). I was pretty good on Sunday at dishing out water bottles and collecting balls, so maybe there is a job for me there somewhere!!
All of City’s players would like to offer special thanks to the following for their support and backing:
Nicky Taylor, Gary Moores, Alison Smith, Leigh Wood and City in the Community