Vi svingte innom Amazonleiren på den siste dagen i høstferien, de har en årlig fotballskole for jenter . Dette ville vi finne mer ut av så vi spurte noen spørsmål til primus motor Shannon Smyth om hvordan uka har vært for henne.
Fortell oss litt om fotballskolen dere har hatt i høstferien:
This is the 4th annual Fotballskole For Jenter.
Hvordan var oppmøte på årets fotballskole?
We always seem to land somewhere between 23-30 girls…which for this area is fantastic, but I hope it continues to grow! When I first came to Amazon, I was a guest coach at another local fotballskole and there was only 5 girls and ca 75 boys. I thought to myself, «where are all the girls?!» This «ah-ha» moment is really where I started to realize girls football needed more support in the South…and so, the Fotballskole was born and ended up being my first step into girls football development in the South.
We had 4 coaches and all were Toppserien players! Kelsey Hood, Dyanne Anderson and Katelyn Rhodes…a lot of Americans 🙂
Hva er ditt beste minne fra årets samling?
Honestly, this is one of my favorite times of year because you get to work with youth players and see them not only improve over our days together but also watch them come out of their comfort zones, make new friends and ENJOY playing. There is not pressure at Fotballskole and it is the same for me…I participate in almost every game we play! I get to be a kid again…I always look forward to the infamous «buffalo hunter» game!
Vi kunne lese i lokalavisen at dere sliter litt med å få de eldre jentene med på dette, hva tror du er noe av grunnen til dette?
I think whenever you start something new, you have to convince players and clubs to buy into it. Everything we’ve done at Amazon for girls has been well received, but now we want to provide more for the older players who are in the advanced training stage of their development path. That means we want to push them technically, but mostly plant seeds tactically and physically. Many in the community ask me why we do not have more local players competing at the Toppserien level and while I believe the answer is simple, the process is not. We have started to make small changes in the expectations and demands in girls football culture in the South, but we have a way to go and this does not change overnight. We must challenge players in all areas of player development–technical, tactical, physical and psychological. They must have a taste at what it means to compete in a challenging environment and to take joy in success but also joy in failing and trying again. We can provide this environment, but we must raise our players to be prepared for both success and failure. Attitude is everything.
Certainly we will continue to try and provide this advanced programs for older players and we will continue to try and reach as many girls as possible at a young age.De siste spørsmålene vi stilte til Shannon gikk mer på henne personlig.
Da du vokste opp, hvor viktig var slike tilbud for deg som fotballskolen er for jentene på sørlandet?
Attending things like fotballskole is a great way to get outside your comfort zone to meet new players and also to compete with and against new players. That was one of the most important lessons I learned going to things like fotballskole when I was young and I try to teach the same to my players–that is, no matter if you have been friends a long time or just met the player, teammates are special and work together no matter what. It is also a great way to be exposed to great coaches and in this case, top female footballer role models!
Ved å vokse opp i utlandet som fotballspiller, hvordan føler du treningen som fotballspiller var sammenlignet med måten vi gjør det i Norge?
As a coach, I have learned a lot about the Norwegian system and have been able to compare it to other countries such as America and Ireland. In the end, I think this region of Norway specifically has to continue to push the standard higher for girls development. There are a lot of great initiatives but we have to follow through and be more consistent. We have to put our time and money where our mouth is–many complain but do not act to better the environment. Having now worked together with countless grassroots clubs in the South I know the desire is there and we will continue to make small steps forward as long as we have the support of the community.
I’m feeling really confident about the match. We have had a good week of training–we look fresh and there has been a solid competitive vibe at training. We played very well against them earlier this year and lost narrowly 0-1 so I think points are definitely up for grabs in Grimstad!!
En meget fornøyd Shannon Smyth avslutter ved å anmode Sørlandet om å legge turen til Grimstad og Ugland Stadion på Søndag kl 14:00. Da spiller nemlig Amazon jentene mot Trondheimsørn, det koster ingenting å komme inn siden dette er avsluttningen på akademiuken. Hun sier hun virkelig håper på mye god støtte fra tribunen i kampen mot poengene som vi så sårt trenger.