Don’t really know where to start my latest blog/flog after the whirlwind of the last few days in my football career.
I have never had a week like the last one and probably, hand on heart, never want one like this again.
Over the last week I have been approached to play for Liverpool Ladies in the Super League. I think most people would have said yes immediately but not me. For those of you that don’t know me, you will not be aware that I am currently playing at my beloved Manchester City. I have spent the last 3 years wearing the colours of the team that I have supported for the past 21 years and thought that I would end my playing days here, that was until last week.
I have been agonising over a decision which would either a) take me to playing at the highest level of football this country has ever seen for women or b) stay at City and compete for the Championship and promotion to the Premier League.
I have spent a week weighing up the pros and cons of both clubs, I have spent a week talking to numerous people, gaining their views on what I should do, I have spent a week not sleeping and I have spent a week with people telling me red is just not my colour, despite the Liverpool keeper's top being light grey. ;-)
If City were to be successful in gaining promotion this season, it would be the highest level the club has ever achieved and would probably be the first time a club from Manchester has played at that level. If I choose Liverpool I would be playing in a league that we have never seen the like of in this country before, with semi-professional players and finally a television audience.
On Saturday I made the decision that I would start the next adventure of my football career at Liverpool. I made this decision purely on the fact that it may never come around again for me with my 34th birthday fast approaching (1st April). I was aware that Manchester City wanted, if possible, to apply for Super League status in the next 2 years but I was not sure I would still be able to play at that time. I have played football for over 20 years and time does take its toil.
I also made the decision on the fact that I personally have wasted several years of not playing and not applying myself in the right way. I have let myself down on several occasions when I know in my heart I have should have played at a higher level far more than I have done. I can not say that I have not had the opportunity as I have played at Everton, Leeds United and Wales and I feel I have let myself down badly at all three. I have though, learned from my mistakes and as I have become more mature and settled in life I have become far more focused on my football. I’m hoping that Liverpool will give me that one last chance for me to prove to people that I am good enough and dedicated enough to compete at the highest level and I thank Liverpool for that opportunity.
As for City, I leave them in good hands. In the three seasons I have been there they have gone from strength to strength on and off the pitch. City Ladies are now able to train at decent times on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of the graveyard shifts on Wednesdays and Fridays, have been fully backed by the club with training kits, exposure on the official site/Facebook, use of the regional athletics centre, which in my opinion has the best playing surface in women’s football and are coached to a high standard at all levels.
The special ingredient though that binds all this together are the dedicated and amazing people who give up their time for not one bit of thanks or money. These people are the unsung heroes and heartbeat of the club. They give their time for the love of the girls, the club and football. Without these people the club would fail. From washing the kits, to finding training venues in the snow, to arranging transport to games, all this work goes on behind the scenes, so that we the players can do the fun part, which is play games of football. I really am grateful to these people who carry out such thankless tasks.
I would like to thank my City family which includes, all the girls, Leigh Woods, Kevin Sims, Gary Moores, Dave Hindley, Trevor Lynch, Steve Everall, Paul McCoy, Joseph De Oliveira and last but not least Nikki 'Mrs Joe Hart' Taylor. Nikki gives her all for the club and is always on the look out for opportunities to promote the women’s team, from cook offs with Shay Given and Joe Hart, to flag waving on European nights. I leave the club with a heavy heart…..
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