This Is Villa Park

This Is Villa Park

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Something A Little Different; What Football Means To Me

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a penny.”
Football is my life.
I can't describe it much better than that.

Eight years ago, at the age of six I started playing football for the first time. I trained once a week, every Saturday without fail. Snow, rain, the cold wouldn't scare me away. This was what I wanted to do and I was determined to do well. I have a lot to thank the people there for. They stuck by me and made me take my first steps into my journey to success in the sport. Not only did they provide me with the basic skills, they provided me with the opportunity.

Two years on I then decided to join a team. My dad had spent hours on end trying to find a team that needed a new player. We came across Withymoor Colts and as soon as they said I could train I was over the moon. This was my opportunity to experience being part of a group of people. I knew that these girls would respect me, relate to me and help me.

I remember my first training session, I was so nervous. Myself and my dad walked up to the pitch and then a girl came riding up to me, I'd never seen her in my life, asking if I was Molly. I was indeed and from then on in, these girls became not just my team mates but my friends.

After just one training session, they signed me up. My name was on that piece of paper and I was in contention to start in my first ever competitive football match.

For the next four seasons I played in defence. I watched players come and go, whilst I began to understand everything about the game.

Kick about up Clent.
To be able to say that I'm the longest serving player at Withymoor Colts in my age group is an honour. Spending six years with the club isn't something that everyone can say. I've played defence; right back, left back, centre half, goalkeeper and most recently central defensive midfielder, and I've loved every minute of it. The training, whether that be once or twice a week. The matches, our pre match oranges, jelly beans at half time and water fights at the end. The players and the parents, even though they may annoy you or say something that might make you want to rip their heads off you get to know them and they become your friends; the girls have seemed like my little sisters. I've supported them and they've supported me. We've been through every thing together. Not just football, we've been every where. To other football games, to shows, to BBQ's, sleepovers, meals out, presentations and theme parks; we've done it together.

I was made the captain and that has to go down as one of the proudest moments of my life. Never mind just my footballing 'career.' I've been able to watch the team of six years ago change and grow into the team of now. I've experienced the ups and downs with the same club. Win, lose and draw; I've felt it all. I've been on top of the world and I've also been the most upset person after a game. But to be able to say that I've been rewarded with trophies such as 'Player's Player of the Year' and 'Supporter's Player of the Year' beats that. When parents and your team mates recognise the season that you've had. that feels good.

This is probably my last season in a Withy shirt as I'm hoping that by June next year I will be part of a Centre of Excellence. It's sad for me knowing that I'll be leaving behind the club that has brought me on as a footballer, given me confidence in my ability and taught me that hard work does pay off. Yet it's a decision that I've had to make to progress in the sport. I've always said since I was a little girl going to training with my dad on an early Saturday morning that this is what I wanted to do. I want to be a professional footballer.


Not many girls can say that.

It hasn't been easy.

It takes hard work, dedication and commitment.

It takes hours of training, early mornings, kick abouts in the garden.

It takes several set backs and plenty of praise.

It takes good times and bad times.

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