I love to travel, to be abroad, meet new people and new cultures, to taste new food and get new experiences, and since January all that has been a big part of my life. I’ve really enjoyed my first four months in England and all the new experiences I’ve had and all new people I’ve met.
Last week, Kylla Sjoman and I were in Barcelona and Rome. It was a lovely week with sun, ice cream, sea, tapas, FC Barcelona, new friends, pizza, Colosseum, and espresso. The foreign girls in Doncaster (Kylla, Aine, and I) have had a good time at Ramada Hotel, but Kylla and I didn’t miss the hotel food when we ate home cooked pasta in Italy. It was lovely! In Barcelona, we watched FC Barcelona’s last home game for the season. The game was average, but the celebrations after were the most amazing I’ve ever seen. More than 70,000 people congratulated the Spanish Champions, and I really look forward to tonight’s Champions League game. I feel prepared after being at both Old Trafford and Camp Nou the last months. I hope we’ll see a well played game between two tactical teams that want to attack. (more…)
We have now played seven games, and the first part of the season has passed by far too quickly. My personal opinion is that the league could have been played another three weeks, and then continue after the Women’s World Cup from end of July to October. I know it’s only eight teams, but why not play every team three times instead of two? I like when it’s intense between the games, but the
training suffers, and it’s hard for the clubs to get time to advertise each big game. Especially for our club, which has had three home games in the last eight days. I’m sure that the clubs and the FA have the same goal – that the players, teams and the game should develop. That will bring a bigger crowd to the games and more sponsors and money to the clubs. It would be a win-win situation for all parts. This of course is something that takes time and is a long-term project, and I think that this first season will teach a lot about how the future will look.
I hate to lose, but I’m not a bad loser. There’s a big difference. But I’m definitely a worse blog writer after a loss. So today I’m happy to write this blog after our great and important victory over Liverpool on Wednesday. It was a game when we had decided to fight from the first to the last minute, together, as a team. We created a lot of chances, but still struggled to put away a second and third goal. At least it must be exciting for the audience. Our goalie Helen Alderson, who I feel I should pronounce Andersson, because that’s makes her more Swedish, had a brilliant save off a penalty in the second half and then a great save (for the cameras) in the last minute of the game. (more…)
Every year before the season starts there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation in the air and then suddenly you’re in the midst of everything. The weeks pass quickly and we play game after game. Last weekend we lost our consistency that is so important. We definitely played a game with two halves when we played Chelsea at Keepmoat Stadium. Our first half was good, but in the second we lost our game and Chelsea took advantage. (more…)
I think everyone who has ever been involved with sports can agree with me that winning is great. The feeling you get when you have three points after a football game is awesome, and it’s even better when it’s after the first game, of a new league, in a historic game for women’s football in England. We came out with three points against Lincoln last week and the goal came, well-deserved, from our experienced midfielder Vicky Exley. It was a great game and a really good team effort. It was all about that game. This week we have two new games. First, we play Everton away on Wednesday, and then Chelsea in our first home game, Easter Sunday. I hope that we can be consistent and have the same buzz as we had last week, and that all our Doncaster fans will be backing us up in the stands. (more…)
There are only three days left to the kickoff for FA WSL now! The Belles had a really good session today in the sun at Balby Carr. We’re buzzing and prepared for the first game against Lincoln away Wednesday night. Can’t wait. A lot of players have improved over the last few weeks, and I will give a special shout for our tall striker Millie, only 17, but give her some time, and with her power and vision, she can be really, really good.
My soulmate and friend Sofia has been in town last week and so has the lovely weather. Both make me happy. It’s almost summer in Doncaster, and I love it. Just being out in the sun wearing shorts and a T-shirt makes this time of the year so wonderful. And every year at this time I wonder how I can live in a country where it’s dark and cold six months of the year. Maybe it’s time for a change.
Now that I am living in a new country for the first time, I feel that I should try to visit as many cities as a can. Last Friday, I went to Nottingham to celebrate our captain Katie Holtham turning 25. On Saturday, I went to Manchester for a presentation for various Swedish building companies. I spoke about my football career, my life abroad, and the new FA WSL. After my presentation, I met Aine and Kylla, and we went to the “theatre of dreams,” Old Trafford, to watch Man U vs. Fulham. An amazing stadium, crowd of 75,300 people, glorious weather, excited kids, and happy families all around. I’ll be back!
Soon it’s bedtime for me. Tomorrow is a bright and early morning. It’s time for the launch of the league at Wembley Stadium. All the ambassadors, managers, FA people, media, the league mascot, the girl band, parade, and so on will be there to kick off FA WSL 2011. Here we go…
Maria Karlsson is a defender for Doncaster Rovers Belles and the first Swedish international in the FA Women’s Super League.
I have had a very eventful week here in Doncaster. My parents came into town, and it was really nice to see them again. I had a great time showing them around Doncaster and having them meet the people I’ve gotten to know here. Unfortunately the weekend did not end very well when we lost against Liverpool in the FA Cup. We didn’t play to our potential, so Liverpool deserved to win this time. Hopefully this will make us hungry for revenge when the league starts. There is only a week and a half left until we play Lincoln, away April 13th. (more…)
The draft of this blog was written on a brown paper bag with carrots in it. One day this week between two sessions, I was in town and walked around the big market. It was a lovely spring day with clear blue sky and around 15 degrees. After I bought some fruits and my favorite, caramelized ginger, I sat down on a bench and just enjoyed the moment. I’m not so hi-tech yet that I have an iPhone, but I almost always have a pen in my bag so when I sat there in the sun I started to write this blog. And it struck me how amazing this season is, when everything starts to grow and people come
out of their houses and apartments. I sat on a bench for two hours and the thing that caught my eye most, was all the little children running around. They caught my eye because they looked as if they were discovering the world and viewing things for the first time. And maybe they did?!
To catch the small things every day and sometimes just sit down to watch without doing anything else. I think that’s something that we all can become much better at. A thought from a bench in Doncaster. (more…)
The last week has gone really fast with a lot of fun on the schedule. Since I came to Doncaster in January, March 13 has been the day that I’ve been waiting for. It was the day for our first competitive game, and moreover, Chelsea away in the FA Cup. It was a massive game for us, and it’s always special to start the competitive season after a tough preseason. It’s now where the fun begins. (more…)
After this weekend I feel that the subject for the blog is clear. My sister Sofia, who is two years younger then me, came to Doncaster to visit, and it was such a nice time. I have two sisters, Anna who is three years older than me, and Sofia. They are my sisters and also my best friends. It has been lovely to have ‘Fia’ here in Doncaster. It’s hard to imagine that it’s the same sister that I would wrestle and once furiously shoved into the brand new glass shower door when we were kids. Fia’ and I fought and Anna was the mature older sister who cried because we always teased each
other. I think it was the winning instinct which was born then, and I can now imagine how hard it must been for ‘Fia’ to always be the loser when we played football in our basement when we were young. They were tough games, but in one way or another I always won with one goal. Anna and ‘Fia’ are both living in my home town Gothenburg. That’s good for me, who sometimes lives out of a suitcase in their apartments, is like a second home for me. I feel that I can talk with them about everything, even if sometimes they don’t want to hear all I have to say. (more…)
Teams spirit and teamwork. These two words mean a lot to me. I really believe in team spirit and teamwork and the cliché that a team never is stronger than the weakest link. Do I think like that because I’m usually not the player who determines games by scoring the winning goal? Did I choose to play a team game like football for that reason? How true is this cliché? (more…)
One thing that I’ve come to think about after a couple of weeks here in England is how good people adapt to new settings and faces, simply new conditions. And that’s exactly how I feel here in Doncaster. I know that it’s not usual to live at a hotel for one year. But when you know going to do it, it’s just to adapt. And I think we all do it very well! But one thing that I still think will be very hard to adapt to is the left traffic in this country. According to Google, there are only four countries in Europe that drive on the “wrong” side. Why don’t they drive like the rest of us? I am happy when I pass over a cross walk and they have written “look right” or “look left” on the street. That information (and my friends) has saved me a lot of times. (more…)
People who know me well, know that I like organization and structure in my life, so this last week has been heaven for me! Now I have a national insurance number, an English bank account, and last but not least, an English phone number. Feels good! I feel that I’m more and more beginning to get routines here in Doncaster. (more…)
I’ve now been in Doncaster for more than a week. It has been days full of new impressions and meetings with new people. I’ve switched from a house in Sweden to a hotel room in Doncaster, my family and friends to a new team with new teammates, snow to bare ground, Swedish to English and so on … a totally new situation and I really like it! (more…)
Maria Karlsson, who last week became the first Swedish international to sign with a team in the FA Women’s Super League (Doncaster Rovers Belles), has landed in England and checked in from Doncaster. (more…)