31/12/2013

My Football Highlights Of 2013

First of all, happy new year to all my followers and readers! It's been an incredible year, and in a match of the day type package, I wanted to share my highlights.

Five of my highlights are football match highlights, and the remainder are highlights relating to my personal achievements this year.
A new season dawns

Match highlights:

My favourite moment of 2013 football includes my beloved Blackburn Rovers, and David Dunn. Ewood Park was hosting Burnley - one of the biggest derby's in the country. For 34 years Blackburn have been unbeaten against their rivals, but on this day in March, Burnley were winning 1-0. Their fans had been mocking Dunny all game by pretending to cry - this was because earlier in the week Millwall had knocked us out of the FA Cup in the quarter finals replay at home, and Dunn cried. In the 94th minute, when Burnley thought they had sealed the deal, David Dunn heroically slotted the ball into the goal. It was the most beautiful moment of football I have ever witnessed.

My second highlight was the FA Cup final. Having been knocked out by Millwall, I pinned my hopes on Wigan Athletic. Dave Whelan and Jack Walker had always been friends, and it is rumoured that had Walker not bought Rovers, Whelan would have. I like Dave Whelan, by the way, did you know he broke his leg? No seriously, I like Dave Whelan because he once said that he was not the owner of Wigan Athletic, but a custodian and that the fans owned the club. At a time where money rules the industry, it's reassuring to know there's still a few Whelan's out there. Anyway, I loved seeing Wigan win the FA Cup. They deserved it. They didn't win it by fluke. They were the underdogs but they played brilliantly against Everton, and superbly against Manchester City. It was a pleasure to watch.

My next highlight is perhaps not as well known as it comes from Non League. I write match reports at a Non League club called Leamington. Last season they got promoted to the Skrill North. I may not get to see Blackburn Rovers win promotion for a while, but I did get to see my local club reach the dizzy heights of the Skrill North. Two divisions from League Two. It's been even more exciting seeing them progress and adapt to the difficulties of their new league. They are now in 12th position after beating the league leaders.

I had to put this in here - seeing Zlatan Ibrahimovich clap Cristiano Ronaldo after his glorious hatrick against Sweden in the World Cup qualifiers was an unforgettable moment. Not just that, but the second half of that match wasn't between Sweden and Portugal. It was between Zlatan and Ronaldo. And it was awesome. It is a privilege for our generation to be graced with players of that calibre. I just remember sitting on the sofa and not quite believing what I was watching.

Another hatrick ends my 2013 football match highlights. Luis Suarez' against Norwich City was insane. Four goals, three of them all contenders for goal of the month if not season. They were spectacular. Suarez is an idiot at the best of times, but there's no denying what an unbelievably talented player he is.

So that's that for my football match highlights. If you're not bored enough already you can read my top five football related moments of 2013.

The first football match I reported on was Leamington v Redditch United in the Southern Calor League. Leamington won two nil, there were two penalties and a red card. For a first match I was very lucky. It was definitely a highlight for me.

Obviously I'm going to include the moment I won best Female Football Blog at the Football Blogging Awards. This was an intensely surreal moment for me. I was overwhelmed by the amount of support, votes and congratulations I received. Considering I had written my first blog only on the 17th of February, the day after my 17th birthday - it was an incredible achievement in my opinion and thank you to all who supported and voted for me.

Another highlight for me was my blog titled "Football? But you're a girl?" - I wrote that blog after someone told me to go to the kitchen. I couldn't be bothered to argue so I wrote. And it got well over 6,000 views. Again, it was surreal. Oliver Kay, Ollie Holt and Daniel Taylor - all writers who I admire and aspire to be like - endorsed it. I tweeted it to Clare Balding, another of my idols, and she responded saying it was "very good". BBC radio Lancashire contacted me to do a telephone interview and the Lancashire telegraph interviewed me for their newspaper - despite me living in the West Midlands (I think they liked the BRFC link). It really was incredible.

Meeting the Special One was a pretty good highlight. I was doing work experience at the Daily Mirror, which is a highlight in itself! But on my last day I had the privilege of going to Cobham for Mourinho's Hull City preview press conference. I was star struck. I had butterflies. I just sat there, in awe.

My final highlight is the opportunity I was presented with by BRFCS.com. The Blackburn Rovers forum. Rovers were holding a charity legends v fans match at Ewood. The legends team included players such as the Turkish delight - Tugay himself, Colin Hendry, Simon Garner and Kevin Gallacher. BRFCS.com invited me to get involved with their live broadcast of the game. I had the chance to stand on the pitch side interviewing Simon Garner, I stood in the changing room and walked down the dugout. It was absolutely mental. David Dunn was even loitering around.

It's been an incredible year for me, and thank you to each and every one of my readers for supporting me, giving me feedback, and reading these blogs. Happy new year!

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