By January 9, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

A Yank Down Under: Holiday Round-Up

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Hello again and Happy New Year to everyone.

It has been a mile a minute here in the A-League since my last column.

My club, Wellington Pheonix, have played five games in the last two-and-a-bit weeks. We started with a loss against Sydney FC in a game for which we never really showed up. A draw at home to the league-leaders Central Coast followed, and then a thrilling come from behind 3-2 win against Melbourne Heart.

Things were looking up for us. But, as always, football, is a funny game.

Sitting in 5th place and heading into a two-game road trip against very tough teams, we were quietly confident about taking some points from each game. However, we lost both in Brisbane and Melbourne and have now dropped all the way down to 9th place in the table.

We have a massive game this weekend against Western Sydney Wanderers at home in what is shaping up to be a must win for the club.

On a personal note, after the Sydney FC loss I was dropped to the bench for whatever reason and have spent the past four games there; coming on each time with about twenty minutes to go. Coming off the bench is an interesting dynamic. You feel like part of the team, but also separated in some way. Getting up to game speed is a very difficult thing to do. However, that’s where the help of your teammates makes the difference.

Before I go any further, I would just like to say that I’m not complaining. I am only trying to provide some insight into the life of a footballer.

As a footballer, being in the starting line-up for your team is everything. When you are starting, you don’t appreciate it like you should. When you’re not starting, everything you say and do takes on a new meaning. Sometimes it just happens. You think that you’re playing alright and then all the sudden you’re not in the starting-11. Then, all you can think about is getting back into the team and it will drive you mad. You question everything you’ve done and what you want to do in the future. It is very hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it.

There are some dark places footballers can go to and it can be very tough to come out. There is no equivalent scenario that I can think of for a 9-5 job.

The funny thing about it is you know what you have to do, it is just hard to stay level-headed. Every footballer has been through it — bar a few exceptional cases- still you think you have a “special case”.

In the end, you just have to put your head down and do everything you can to get back in the team. It isn’t about me as an individual, but rather the team which I have to support and be there for in whatever capacity is needed. That won’t stop me thinking about it all, but the correct attitude will pay off eventually.

Until next time….

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