103 days have passed since I published this blog. That means that the soccer World Cup is 3 years, 1 month and 21 days away from kick-off, in stadiums with amazing names like Stade de la Beaujoire, Parc Olympique Lyonnais and Stade de l’Abbé-Deschamps. Great news, you might think: the sooner, the better! But I have to confess that this knowledge has caused me slight panic. I’ve created the next list to illustrate where these feelings come from:
- Last weekend, the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) started its fourth season in the USA. In the stands for the game between the Portland Thorns and Orlando Pride: 16,073 supporters;
- In Holland, records were also broken: no less than 6,025 fans watched the match between the women of ADO Den Haag and Ajax;
- 14-year old Britt Theunissen made her debut for Fortuna ’54 in the Dutch Topklasse (the highest amateur tier) last Saturday;
- Exactly half a year from this Sunday I will be turning 23.
Conclusion: women’s soccer is becoming increasingly popular and I’m becoming increasingly old. Of course I always knew that there was a chance I started taking soccer seriously too late, but the facts mentioned above gave me a pretty dramatic reality check.
After a good start at my new club Moldavo, where I was in the starting eleven for my first two games, several bad performances over the last few weeks have led me to play the majority of my minutes in the second team. Absolutely no punishment: I get to play 90 minutes every game, try out different positions, and my teammates are very decent players. Last week, in a game we won 8-1, one of my crosses in the box ended up being caught by the wind and suddenly ‘fell’ into the goal, my first official one for the Belgian side!
But as I’ve said in an earlier blog, I’ve had a lot of things on my mind lately that are completely unrelated to soccer. On one side that has been a good thing for my performances on the pitch, as you could read here, but it has also led me to behave like anything but a ‘professional player in the making’ over these past weeks. So when I wrote the digits ‘1149’ on my left hand three days ago and realised that the World Cup was already 100 days closer than when I wrote my blog about the soccer ladder, I got a bit worried.
World Cup, bring it on!
The dream hasn’t changed one bit. I still want to reach the very highest within soccer. Playing in an international competition, representing my country, and eventually reaching the World Cup. But one thing is for sure: if I continue on the road I’ve been on for the last couple of weeks, I will definitely not reach those goals. It’s time to kick things into the next gear. It’s time to get back to extra training, healthy eating, going to bed early, cliché motivational quotes on my bedroom door, and putting everything aside for soccer’s sake. There are 1146 days left until the World Cup starts. And when that day comes, I will be ready!
Thanks for reading, talk soon! 🙂