Emma Coolen - Oranjeleeuwinnen

Just 1249 days until the next World Cup

Today, dear reader, is a very important one. On this exact day, there are only 1249 days left until the 8th of June, 2019. The title of this entry might have given a clue as to why this day is so important. In three years, five months and two days the next Women’s World Cup kicks off in France. And it is my Ultimate Goal to be at that World Cup. As a player of the Dutch national team, that is. The fact that this tournament is only 1249 causes me great panic.

You might think, and you’re probably right in doing so, Emma, what the heck are you worried about? Three-and-a-half years, plenty of time! But let me explain the situation. Precisely 784 days ago, I sat in the stands at the Tyresö game, as I described in my first blog entry. This is two years, one month and 24 days ago. Since then, I’ve climbed the ladder of the Dutch soccer pyramid from the 5th division to the 3d. I’ve played at higher levels, but nothing really worth mentioning. If you take a look at where I play my weekly 90 minutes, I’ve ascended exactly two divisions in the last two years. Let me schematically depict the situation.

Dutch soccer pyramid - From nothing to the World Cup

Well, this graph pretty much speaks for itself. Of course I don’t have to take every single one of those steps between this moment and 2019 (and I’ve not yet given up the hope that one day I’ll have an amazing training with our second team just as, in a bizarre twist of fate, the coach of the Dutch national squad is watching us), but you understand the magnitude of my problem. The road is long, the time way too short.

Just become a starting player

Counted from the day that I decided that I wanted to become a professional player until the next World Cup is exactly 2032 days, or five years, six months and 25 days. This means that, at this point in time, I already have 38,58% of the time to reach this goal behind me. And even though I can’t deny that I’ve learned so much in the past 784 days, and probably have become a slightly better soccer player in the process, I’m gonna have to kick it into a higher gear if I actually want to play at the World Cup. I could gamble on pulling a ‘Maran-van-Erp’ (who was added to the last Dutch World Cup squad even though she had barely played for the national team up until that point), but the risk in doing that is high. It’s safer to already be a starting player for a couple of months when the World Cup arrives. If only it were that easy. ‘Just’ become a starting player for the national team.

But you know what they say: ‘If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything you want’, and ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way!’. Let’s hope for that. And next time, dear reader, if you see me walking around with a four-digit number written on the back of my hand, it’s not an easy way to figure out my pin number, unfortunately. For me, it’s a constant reminder that the clock ticks relentlessly, and every single day counts if I want to reach my Ultimate Goal. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to work. The World Cup is only 1249 days away, and I’ll be ready for it.

Thanks for reading, talk soon! 🙂