COUNTDOWN TO THE FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
It has been a long season in Glasgow, starting back in July of 2022 we have just wrapped up at the end of May 2023. Crowned Scottish Women’s Premium League champions and in doing so we achieved our biggest target for the season, which also means women’s champions league qualification. It has been another season with bumps in the road, but seasons are always going to have peaks and lows. The longer I am in the game the more I see the business side of things, as with all jobs sometimes the ship does not run the course you hope for.
Personally, it has been another season with ups and downs, most recently experiencing my own fair share of injuries. In March I suffered a grade one MCL tear in my left knee, more recently I have been suffering from a back injury. As much as injuries are part of it all, whenever they occur it is never fun. Both have had me out longer than I would like to be.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to take the field since March. Another year of growth and patience, but it has been a privilege to be at a club like City, the values and morals of the club are phenomenal, the history is rich and being a part of a club that is a sole woman entity has been eye-opening and empowering in many respects.
My physical and mental health have been at the forefront since, they always are but with greater emphasis recently. With such a big campaign ahead, it has been very much about doing the day-to-day things that will have me in the best place I can be for selection. The enormity of it all is still hard to comprehend, when asked in media it is ridiculously hard to articulate. I have always dreamt of playing for my country, on the world stage, but to do so in your own backyard in the largest footballing tournament is the stuff of dreams. Opening the World Cup in front of hopefully a full crowd at Eden Park will hit right to the core without a doubt. I have been working regularly with mental coaches to be ready for that moment, whatever my role looks like.
In our group, we will face Norway in Auckland, the Philippines in Wellington, and Switzerland in Dunedin. As far as groups go it is one of the kinder ones we have faced – being a host nation has its benefits. But all games will be tough, most notably the opening against Norway. The calibre of players we will face in the opening match will deliver challenges with Norway having players within the top leagues in Europe, most notably in England, Spain, and Germany.
I feel Kiwis might not comprehend the full extent of the talent arriving on our shores and from our friends across the ditch. But I have no doubt that the World Cup will have a lasting impact on the younger generations with access to it in their backyard. It is my hope this entire experience is maximised by all, and I encourage anybody to try to get along to a game if possible, and if not physically certainly tune in on the TV. It is going to be phenomenal, the trajectory for women’s football has been absolutely soaring in recent years, and this tournament is going to be no different.
As always, I am extremely thankful to have the HHG whānau in my corner supporting me.
May everyone enjoy the entire campaign and please cheer on us Ferns if you can!
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