How badly do you want to be a footballer?

Background Info.

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have not had a spare minute to myself….with the semester in full swing, I’ve been attending meetings, writing papers, applying for internships, and all sorts of other things.   My technical training has taken a hit due to this business, but I have still been playing soccer every week.  In addition, I’ve been running training sessions for gaelic football and hurling with the BCGAA, keeping me pretty well fit.

The intramural season is off to a rocky start.  We lost the first game 3-1 and drew the second 1-1.  I’ve played pretty well, but the problem has been a team-wide issue with possession.  We give up the ball on stupid passes way too many times, missing out on a lot of would-be goal scoring opportunities.

My footballing world has been further upset by Arsenal’s continuing spiral, topped off by a loss to Sp*rs this weekend.  Let’s not talk about it.

Promise I’ll be posting more frequently as London draws closer…Cheers.


4 Sports Day

Training goes on, and today my fitness was really put to the test.  From 2-3:40, I ran a hurling/gaelic football practice with the BCGAA, teaching some newcomers how to play the sports as well.  Then from 4-6, I had an intense soccer scrimmage with the intramural team.  Finally at 7:30, I had an intramural softball game, which got out around an hour later just in time for me to head to work.

Soccer went well, and the team is coming together nicely.  Our first game is this Wednesday night, in what looks like our hardest match of the regular season.


The Red Bandana – 9/11 Remembrance

On the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, ESPN honors a Boston College athlete who sacrificed his life to save others at the World Trade Center.


Looking Forward, Looking Back

Junior Year officially began today, with BC undergraduate classes starting up.  I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been busy with finishing work, getting ready for school, and moving into my new off-campus house.  In case you’re wondering…it’s pretty sweet.  Eight bros with their own house:  eight bedrooms, two common rooms, two bathrooms, two kitchens, a good-sized balcony.

My Room

 

View from my bed

 

My Floor's Common Room

 

...Complete with one of our two giant TVs

The off-campus life so far has been great.  But in addition to living the college life, I’ve been focused on training.  The past two weeks or so have been very busy – I’ve only played soccer once or twice!  I’ve still been keeping in shape though, doing simple workouts to maintain my level of fitness.

So after this two-week hiatus, I consider where I stand in relation to my goal of playing football abroad.  I have four months left til I leave for London, putting me more or less at the halfway point of my training.  What good things have happened so far?

  • Better level of general fitness, particularly short bursts of speed within match stamina
  • Developed leg strength, particularly quads and calves
  • Much improved footwork, particularly with the left
  • Stronger, more accurate shot

And of course, with the positives come some negatives:

  • Need more work with left-footed, one-touch passing
  • Need more strength on left-footed crosses and shots
  • Need to continue work on upper body strength

Moving forward, there’s a lot of soccer in my immediate future.  The intramural season is right around the corner, and I can’t wait to get started.  It looks like we have a good team this season, and it will be a lot of fun.

More to come – stay tuned.


In the Studio

Yesterday, I was invited to go on BC Sports Saturday, a radio show on 90.3 FM Boston (wzbc.org).  Though the main reason for my visit was to discuss the BCGAA, I also got to talk football (American and Soccer) and the start of the Premier League’s 20th season.  Coming off an Arsenal loss that morning, I wasn’t in the best mood about the sport, but I had a good time in the studio.

Later that night, my buddy Paul and I met up with the Boston Gooners, the local Arsenal Supporters group, at Gillette Stadium for the Revolution vs. Red Bulls match.  Supposedly, Thierry Henry was going to meet with us after the match, but unfortunately he wasn’t in attendance.  To add insult to injury, the Revs threw away a two-goal lead, finishing with a 2-2 draw.


Behind the Scenes at Alumni Stadium


Angry

After a long day at work looking forward to my game tonight…thunderstorm. Oh well, at least it’s sharkweek.


WWC Aftermath

The US Women’s team loss to Japan in the world cup certainly put a damper on the soccer weekend, but at least I got an interesting point of view of the matches.  I started watching on my laptop on ESPN3, then in the car on my iPhone using the Watch ESPN app, and then on a huge screen outside Gillette Stadium, where I went with my dad to see the Revolution take on the Union.  The finishes to those matches were lacking, but I thought I got a pretty good view:

Watching on my iPhone...good quality!

View from my seat at Gillette Stadium...row 19

Sunset over the stadium

It’s a shame the US ladies couldn’t take home the cup, but they should certainly be proud of their accomplishments.  They had an excellent tournament and brought a lot of attention to the game back home.  We’ll just have to take the silver lining on this one.

On a personal level, my training continues.  I had a full field 11v11 scrimmage yesterday, where we played with several varsity BC players.  I had a few good passing plays with Conor Fitzpatrick, a midfielder who happens to share my last name (no relation).  In what I think was a 6-5 loss, I had one assist and one shot that just cleared the bar.  Frankly, there were fewer opportunities to be had with the varsity players running the show, but it was a fun game nonetheless.


Traveling, Training, and Transfers

Hey all…for my American readers, I hope you had a good fourth.  For the rest of you, too bad you had work while we all grilled hamburgers and blew stuff up.  But I digress.

Despite the fact that this is the one week off I have all summer, I’ve been quite busy.  For Independence Day weekend, I visited with family in New Hampshire.  They have a nice beach house up there, and my family traditionally celebrates the fourth up there together.

I relaxed a little bit, but actually got a lot of work done on my laptop up there as well.

While I was up there I took my little cousin to a local pitch for a training session.  Unfortunately he got pretty tired out after only about 15 or 20 minutes, so we had to call it a day pretty early.  The rest of the weekend didn’t go so well for training either.  I ate a lot of junk and drank soda (in massive qualities) for the first time in ages.  I haven’t had a soda in months, though I suppose adult beverages make up for it.

Without a doubt, the best thing about being home is seeing my dog again.

Today, I drove back to BC to play soccer.  We played 9v9 full field in Alumni Stadium, and I left feeling pretty good.  I’d scored twice and gotten 3 assists as well.  Touch is coming along nicely…I can really start to see progress.  I’ll be hitting the gym/cardio pretty hard next week to work off my Independence Day fat+sugar binge.

In the world of the EPL, Arsenal have lost their first player to the transfer market.  Gael Clichy has left the Emirates.  Hopefully, this is not a sign of things to come from Nasri and Fabregas.  If, like me, you need some cheering up, consider this picture of a Red Panda (also known as a Firefox).  It is guaranteed to make you feel better.


This Will be $200 Well Spent

Going to have to get the home and away kits…I’m thinking Wilshere away and RvP home.  As a side note, what a great video from the Gunners.

A meeting in coarse cotton, sixpence for leather and laces. Factory hardened arms mix oil and mud. A century and a quarter forward, Gunners together; battles ahead. From those first heavy steps; Men will become gods.